Being Animal: Beasts and Boundaries in Nature Ethics

Being Animal: Beasts and Boundaries in Nature Ethics

by Anna Peterson

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For most people, animals are the most significant aspects of the nonhuman world. They symbolize nature in our imaginations, in popular media and culture, and in campaigns to preserve wilderness, yet scholars habitually treat animals and the environment as mutually exclusive objects of concern. Conducting the first examination of animals' place in popular and scholarly thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects who are simultaneously parts of both nature and human society.

Peterson explores the tensions between humans and animals, nature and culture, animals and nature, and domesticity and wildness. She uses our intimate connections with companion animals to examine nature more broadly. Companion animals are liminal creatures straddling the boundary between human society and wilderness, revealing much about the mutually constitutive relationships binding humans and nature together. Through her paradigm-shifting reflections, Peterson disrupts the artificial boundaries between two seemingly distinct categories, underscoring their fluid and continuous character.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231162272
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 05/21/2013
Series: Critical Perspectives on Animals: Theory, Culture, Science, and Law
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Anna L. Peterson teaches at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on environmental and social ethics and the relations between animal ethics and animal advocacy. Her books include Being Human: Ethics, Environment, and Our Place in the World and Everyday Ethics and Social Change: The Education of Desire.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Animals and Nature
2. Animals in Environmental Perspective
3. Animal Ethics
4. Wild Animals
5. Domesticated Animals
6. The Debate Between Environmentalism and Animal Advocacy
7. Between Animals and Nature: Finding Common Ground
8. Being Animal

What People are Saying About This

Jessica Pierce

Anna L. Peterson uniquely brings together divergent strands of philosophical inquiry and places competing ideas side by side, looking for areas of consensus. She brings into conversation a diverse span of thinkers and ideas, building upon the strengths of various philosophical approaches while avoiding weaknesses.

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