Free Custom «Term Paper on Thomas Wallace Coetzee » Essay Paper

Free Custom «Term Paper on Thomas Wallace Coetzee » Essay Paper

Animals and humans live in many different worlds that rarely partly cover. Each animal creates its province and lives contained by this country on its own, inside its own community. On the contrary, humans move from one cycle (one community) to another. He can progress this year from Japan to Los Angeles, or he may become the salesman after abandoning his former profession of a dancer. The animal world is tremendously abridged evaluated to the one of the humans (Guerrini, A, 2003). Animals rarely nuisance each other and continue basically the same life from birth to death. At the same time, animals and humans understand little of each other, or at least this is what we presume, but humans have been academic to use animals, not the contrary. Humans understand things animals cannot understand, and animals perceive things humans cannot perceive. The dog’s nose is a million times more sensitive than ours. Dogs can hear sounds that humans cannot be hear, and from a great distance too. It is interesting to notice that if the animal senses are more developed, their sense of space is usually much more controlled (Coetzee, 2003).

Thomas Nagel is his name. The one man whose reasoning could be rendered too intricate to decode by the average human minds. But one thing was for sure from his views concerning human beings as related to the other living species, citing a broader illustration using bats, the flying mammals, call it microchiroptera, nobody will penalize you for that. This famous American Philosopher and a University professor posits that only if bats could reason like human beings, then they would be able to do as we do. And that only if human beings could reason like bats, we would be all bats! God forbid! Hence the title of his assay “What Is it Like to Be a Bat?”


In one of his works titled “The Possibility of Altruism (Philosophical Review, October 1974), Thomas Nagel asserts that human beings are capable of having better reasons for committing themselves into actions that only benefit others and not themselves, factors such as sympathy or mercy not withstanding (Coetzee, 2003).

Nagel further explores the state of consciousness in the animals` kingdom by emphasizing that conscious experience is a widespread phenomenon which occurs at many levels of animals` life, albeit human beings may not be able to conceive the presence of this conscious experience in the smaller organisms they regard as otherwise inferior to them, take the case of a bat. Thomas Negel notes that it’s even more difficulty to convince them without evidence. According him (Thomas Negel, the conscious experience occurs in forms that are totally unimaginable to the human beings, and that no matter how much the forms, the fact that at least all have some conscious experience implies there is something that it is like to be that animal.

Consumption of animals by human being is not a tale of yesterday; it started right from the dawn of human evolution, lets say, those days of Homo sapiens and homo habilis, not so sure of Zynjanthropus though. Archeologists have persistently presented evidence of the activities that were being undertaken at that point in time. These involved hunting and gathering, they were not hunting flies, wild animals were the most targeted for meat and skin, yes and skin, skins were important commodities in making clothes and providing beddings. The arguments of Elisabeth are somewhat similar to David Foster because both have identified the illegal killing and violence of the animals.


As a matter of fact, the relationship between animals and human beings seems to hold more than meets the eye. For so long, human beings have been predators to other animals, and amazingly, human beings are too predators to themselves, just like some animals are predators to others e.g. the lion would cede no grounds for an antelope in a situation of hunger, just like human being would not let go of bull’s meat where food and diet is the first priority.

No wonder it would never be easy a task for human beings to put themselves in the situation of the other animals, precisely those edible ones. Trying to imagine how a bull can be slaughtered is painful enough not to continue reasoning in that line, and so I wouldn’t wish to be a bull, not even a donkey, I may be a slave the rest of my life. Perhaps a bat, but how possible would I be hanging my body upside down on top of a tree, and only functioning at night!? Its crazy, that kind of life was never meant for human beings with the ability of think beyond the rest of the living species.

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During the 12th C, several animal stories were developed by the Romans and the Greeks. The stories impacted significantly into the psychologies of the people, to the extent that they began putting themselves in the situation of other animals. This general perception attempted to transform the way human beings perceived themselves in correlation to the other animals in the Universe (Coetzee, 2003). The demarcations that had been established between animals and human beings began to fade off. Questions like whether animals were to be slaughtered for meat were cropping up into the minds of the people. I may be tempted to think that Elizabeth existed then, but I don’t think so, she must simply have had of such stories that could otherwise be to fulfilling for her.

According to the expression of Elisabeth Costello with Thomas Nagel and David Forster Wallace. The expression of Elisabeth Costello was quite different from those two writers, but somewhat similar to David Foster Wallace. In her expression, a sigh of consciousness and affection towards the animals has reflected, on the other hand David Foster has just restrained his analysis towards the lobster and its illegal slaughtering. On the other hand, Thomas Nagel elaborated about the bats and their symptoms. He declared that bats are blind and deaf to their birth and their consciousness and the consciousness of a common human being is quite similar.

In the third question, we have to answer whether the arguments of Elisabeth, were in the favor of the other two writers or has some sort of contradictions. From the analysis, we have found that the arguments of Elisabeth are somewhat similar to David Foster because both have identified the illegal killing and violence of the animals. Both the writers have shown an immense affection towards saving the animals from unimportant killings and illegal slaughtering. On the contrary the arguments of Elisabeth have nothing to do with the argument of Thomas Nagel as the issues identified by him is somewhat else.

Between AD 400 and 1400, the notion that human beings had much in common with animals picked up, notably by the 13th C Chronicles titled, “Gerald of Wales”. The Christian Philosophers however begged to differ from this perception that animals and human beings shared some things much in common, on the spot was Albert the Great, a notable Christian thinker of the 13th C. Albert cataloged a number of differences that he maintained existed between animals and human beings (Coetzee, 2003). Reacting from the same perspective, Thomas Aquinas argued that brutality and savagery of other animals by human beings was rather irrational and unreasonable, at leas Elizabeth Costello had somebody thinking in the same line with her.

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With the many arguments posted, it becomes quit intricate telling whether there are indeed apparent distinctions between animals and human beings if not borrowed from the biological school of thought. Biologically, it would be easier to cite many differences and similarities, well, both animals and human beings are all mammals’ right? And so this is an unchallengeable scientific fact. Animals have the highest intelligent quotient (IQ) in the animals’ kingdom, arguable though if we have to consider the views of Thomas Negel, right? Now the question is, which way do we go? Whom do we believe? Why do we have to believe in what we know and to what extent are we wrong or right in our believes?


Concluding remarks

So far so good, it’s apparent from the literatures that human beings are also animals, and this is an indisputable reality check It doesn’t matter whether you sleep in a house while others spend cold nights on top of trees, hanging upside down in some cases, it doesn’t matter how smart you can be, the bottom-line is, we are all animals. To begin with, let’s see how Elizabeth Costello confirms this reality.

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To Elizabeth, both human beings and animals should claim equal rights, people are not supposed to eat animals because they are also animals. It would be inhuman to eat a fellow human being! I mean, from the Elizabeth’s view, its like slaughtering and eating a fellow human being, imagine what she was trying to imply!

Coming down to Thomas Negel, his ideas about animals versus human beings were somehow more of fiction than facts. Simply because all animals (living organisms) have conscious experience, at least to some extent, then human beings can be equated to bats if conditions favors so and bats could as well be in the shoes of human beings. At the end of the day, we are all animals and what distinguish us from each other are our conscious experiences.

The God has awarded the human being with a lot of dominant things and the best thing he gave to a person is the power of understanding and speaking, which makes him superior at all the other creatures of the world. The same stance has been depicted by many readers in their books, out of which we have just picked only three writers and analyzed their working towards the same predicament. We have found that these writers are totally against the illegal human activity of killing animals for their personal nourishment, which should be stopped. I want to conclude my discussion with the below mentioned quote.



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