Can Animals Be Moral? Hardcover – 6 Dec 2012
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Can Animals Be Moral? offers the most comprehensive analysis and evaluation to date of the traditional views underlying scepticism about the moral subjecthood of animals and it does an excellent job of clarifying the conceptual and argumentative landscape. (Robert Streifer, Mind)
Philosophers will appreciate the carefulness of Rowlands's arguments, the clarity of his writing, and his understated sense of humor. (Jessica Pierce, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.)
An excellent book, not only on what it is for animals to be moral, but what it is for humans to be moral, whether one agrees with the conclusions or not. In short, it is a book on what it is to be moral per se that challenges with skill and imagination goes-without-saying preconceptions of the moral and so deserves to be widely read. (John Shand, The Philosophical Quarterly)
This book makes an enormous contribution to an under-explored topic. It makes a novel and persuasive case that animals can be moral within certain limits, and lays the way for future philosophical and empirical enquiry. (Dr. Tom McClelland, Metapsychology)
An important contribution to the extended field of Ethics...very crisply and also engagingly written. (Chris Bratcher, Ethical Record)
I would strongly recommend this book ... to those who are studying animal behaviour and to those who are working on ethics and moral status of animals. (Martin Whiting, Animal Welfare)
About the Author
Mark Rowlands is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami. He is the author of fourteen books, translated into more than twenty languages. His autobiography, The Philosopher and the Wolf was published in 2008, and became an international bestseller.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Rowlands produces a substantial nuanced argument to show us that while animals may not deliberate on whether an action is morally justified, they can still be said to be acting morally. He does this by arguing that this conception of moral action that includes a necessary component of deliberation is misguided. While such deliberation would be necessary for one to be considered a moral agent it is not necessary to be a moral 'subject' - a creature capable of acting from moral reasons. An excellent book, both philosophically complex and enjoyably readable. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about it is that the after a short survey of the literature (shorter than is ordinarily seen) a clear argument developed over the length of the book. There were no tangential chapters on minor problems or related issues, just the main argument dealing with the problem at hand. Also, unrelated to the content, it is nice to find a philosophy book that has a cover illustration which isn't a abstract muddle of colour or drab painting!
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