The Moral Lives of Animals

Front Cover
Bloomsbury USA, Jun 19, 2012 - Science - 352 pages
27 Reviews

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.

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The author writes in a very easy to read style. - Goodreads
His writing seems disorienting. - Goodreads
Peterson is a careful writer, but not an exciting one. - Goodreads
He also relies too much on ape research. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

A fascinating and only-too-relevant idea, but mired in confusing discussions, controversial evo-psych descriptions of people, and a lack of organization. It is interesting to learn about the concept of morality and altruism as seen in animals, but I will have to look elsewhere. Read full review

Review: The Moral Lives of Animals

User Review  - Ira Therebel - Goodreads

Because of Darwinian narcissism that is pretty common in the animal kingdom people often try to distance themselves from all the other species and make it look as if only us are capable of things such ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Dale Peterson's biography Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book and Boston Globe Best Book of 2006. His other publications include Visions of Caliban (with Jane Goodall) and Demonic Males (with Richard Wrangham). Peterson lectures in the English Department at Tufts University.

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