The Moral Lives of Animals

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jun 19, 2012 - Nature - 342 pages
10 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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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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ratastrophe - LibraryThing

While the subject matter was quite interesting, there were a lot of tangents and some of it was completely irrelevant to the core information being presented. Do I really need to read about different ... Read full review

Contents

Words
3
Orientations
23
Definitions
42
Structures
62
What Is Morality? The Rules
85
Authority
87
Violence
109
Sex
132
Communication
173
What Is Morality? The Attachments
191
Cooperation
193
Kindness
216
Duality
237
Flexibility
257
Peace
276
Copyright

Possession
156

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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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