×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Moral Lives of Animals / Edition 1
     

Moral Lives of Animals / Edition 1

3.0 1
by Dale Peterson
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 1608193462

ISBN-13: 2901608193461

Pub. Date: 06/19/2012

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Wild elephants walking along a trail stop and spontaneously try to protect and assist a weak and dying fellow elephant. Laboratory rats, finding other rats caged nearby in distressing circumstances, proceed to rescue them. A chimpanzee in a zoo loses his own life trying to save an unrelated infant who has fallen into a watery moat.

The examples above and many

Overview

Wild elephants walking along a trail stop and spontaneously try to protect and assist a weak and dying fellow elephant. Laboratory rats, finding other rats caged nearby in distressing circumstances, proceed to rescue them. A chimpanzee in a zoo loses his own life trying to save an unrelated infant who has fallen into a watery moat.

The examples above and many others, argues Dale Peterson, show that our fellow creatures have powerful impulses toward cooperation, generosity, and fairness. Yet it is commonly held that we Homo sapiens are the only animals with a moral sense. This rigorous and stimulating book challenges that notion and shows the profound connections-the moral continuum-that link humans to many other species. Understanding the moral lives of animals offers new insight into our own.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901608193461
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352

Table of Contents

Part I Where Does Morality Come From? Concepts

1 Words 3

2 Orientations 23

3 Definitions 42

4 Structures 62

Part II What Is Morality? The Rules

5 Authority 87

6 Violence 109

7 Sex 132

8 Possession 156

9 Communication 173

Part III What Is Morality? The Attachments

10 Cooperation 193

11 Kindness 216

Part IV Where Is Morality Going? Assessments

12 Duality 237

13 Flexibility 257

14 Peace 276

Acknowledgements 291

Notes 293

Bibliography 309

Index 333

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Moral Lives of Animals 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
nyauthoress More than 1 year ago
Do animals make moral choices that favor their own interests or the interests of others? Dale Peterson is the author of the award-winning Jane Goodall: the Woman Who Redefined Man, and is a lecturer in English at Tufts University. In the Acknowledgements of The Moral Lives of Animals, Peterson states that the idea for this book originated after a heated debate at a dinner party. In this era of sensitivity to animal rights, it is imperative that a book has been written arguing that animals have moral codes and intellectual capacities greater than previously thought. Wide in scope, The Moral Lives of Animals is chock full of references to scientific studies, personal travels to study animal behavior, philosophy and literature. Perceptions of whether animals think or feel pain the same as humans are examined thoroughly. The book is intellectual and esoteric. The Table of Contents contains no specific references to animals, but asks questions regarding morality applicable to humans as well. . Where Does Morality Come From? . What Is Morality? . Where Is Morality Going? Peterson states that animals have moral systems derived from a common origin to that of humans. Inherent in those systems are the ideas of conflict and choice. His writing seems disorienting. The author is obviously well-versed in his subject, but becomes lost in the quagmire of "making his point." He sets forth the structure of the book clearly at the beginning, but does not adhere to his own organizational system and flows from anecdote into intellectual dissertation. For example, Peterson plunges into an exploration of the medieval concept of "the mind" after stating that "executing an elephant for the crime of murder strikes us today as profoundly irrational." One wonders why the author used many depictions of animal cruelty to prove his points. Most disturbing to me were the descriptions of experiments where mice were injected with solutions causing pain in order to observe the sympathy of a non-injected partner mouse. How does the moral compass of the humans conducting the experiments compare to their animal subjects? The Moral Lives of Animals is a heavy read, but is an important contribution to the way we understand and perceive animals. Animal lovers beware. The book is not for the fainthearted. I thank Bloomsbury Press for supplying an advanced reader copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are unbiased and wholly my own. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont