Animals in Greek and Roman Thought: a sourcebook
Although reasoned discourse on human-animal relations is often considered a late twentieth-century phenomenon, ethical debate over animals and how humans should treat them can be traced back to the philosophers and literati of the classical world. From Stoic assertions that humans owe nothing to animals that are intellectually foreign to them, to Plutarch's impassioned arguments for animals as sentient and rational beings, it is clear that modern debate owes much to Greco-Roman thought.
Animals in Greek and Roman Thought brings together new translations of classical passages which contributed to ancient debate on the nature of animals and their relationship to human beings. The selections chosen come primarily from philosophical and natural historical works, as well as religious, poetic and biographical works. The questions discussed include: Do animals differ from humans intellectually? Were animals created for the use of humankind? Should animals be used for food, sport, or sacrifice? Can animals be our friends?
The selections are arranged thematically and, within themes, chronologically. A commentary precedes each excerpt, transliterations of Greek and Latin technical terms are provided, and each entry includes bibliographic suggestions for further reading.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Essential text for animals studies book, recommended with reservations. Newmyer's anthology argues for the rights and inclusiveness model of thinking animals critically and ethically. Kinship and the shared possession of "reason," in various quantities, determines whether nonhuman animals should be treated as subjects like us or objects available for us. The Stoics, great dividers and the founding figures of the dominant strains of medieval Christianity, say no reason at all; the skeptics and their ancestors say perhaps. No one, not even Newmyer, quite asks the question Cora Diamond does, which is: so what? If something lacks (what we call) reason, why should we just in killing and eating it? In any case, this is a familial ethics, or at best a neighborly ethics, rather than an ethics of the absolute other. It's thus not much of an ethics at all. Had Newmyer engaged with modern animals work outside the rights tradition, he might have seen this, and he might have chosen his passages from Philo, Plutarch, and Porphyry differently. Looking outside the philosophers (and the followers of philosophers, like Cicero), he might have given us more from the weirdness of Aelien, Pliny, and even from Lucian of Samosata, whom he doesn't cite. PS I'm a great fan (because of my colleague Craig Williams) of the dolphin love stories, a fan too that ants, spiders, and bees are the admired animals of the philosophers (and lions loathed)--so much for our conceptions of "higher" and "lower" animals--but also a fan (in another way) of Cicero's 'proof' that animals exist to be subjugated: look at the backs of oxen! he says, so clearly made to take a yoke! We may have here the first appearance of Kirk Camaron's notorious 'banana proof' of God's existence.
Review: Animals in Greek and Roman Thought: A SourcebookUser Review - Goodreads
Essential text for animals studies book, recommended with reservations. Newmyer's anthology argues for the rights and inclusiveness model of thinking animals critically and ethically. Kinship and the ...
Animals, Rights, and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics
Stephen Thomas Newmyer
Limited preview - 2006