Beastly Morality: Animals as Ethical Agents

Paperback | December 1, 2015

EditorJonathan K. Crane

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We have come to regard nonhuman animals as beings of concern, and we even grant them some legal protections. But until we understand animals as moral agents in and of themselves, they will be nothing more than distant recipients of our largesse. Featuring original essays by philosophers, ethicists, religionists, and ethologists, including Marc Bekoff, Frans de Waal, and Elisabetta Palagi, this collection demonstrates the ability of animals to operate morally, process ideas of good and bad, and think seriously about sociality and virtue.

Envisioning nonhuman animals as distinct moral agents marks a paradigm shift in animal studies, as well as philosophy itself. Drawing not only on ethics and religion but also on law, sociology, and cognitive science, the essays in this collection test long-held certainties about moral boundaries and behaviors and prove that nonhuman animals possess complex reasoning capacities, sophisticated empathic sociality, and dynamic and enduring self-conceptions. Rather than claim animal morality is the same as human morality, this book builds an appreciation of the variety and character of animal sensitivities and perceptions across multiple disciplines, moving animal welfarism in promising new directions.

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We have come to regard nonhuman animals as beings of concern, and we even grant them some legal protections. But until we understand animals as moral agents in and of themselves, they will be nothing more than distant recipients of our largesse. Featuring original essays by philosophers, ethicists, religionists, and ethologists, inclu...

Jonathan K. Crane is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought at the Emory University Center for Ethics. He is the past president of the Society of Jewish Ethics, founding editor of the Journal of Jewish Ethics, coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality, and author of Narratives and Jewish Bi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:December 1, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231174179

ISBN - 13:9780231174176

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Beastly Morality: A Twisting Tale, by Jonathan K. CranePart I: The Permeability of Morality2. De-humanizing Morality, by Kendy Hess3. HumAnI(m)Morality, by Sean Meighoo4. Not All Dogs Go to Heaven: Judaism's Lessons in Beastly Morality, by Mark GoldfederPart II: Observing Animal Morality5. Animal Empathy as Moral Building Block, by Frans B. M. de Waal6. Humans, Other Animals, and the Biology of Morality, by Elisabetta Palagi7. Moral Mutts: Social Play, Fairness, and Wild Justice, by Marc Bekoff8. Fighting Fair: The Ecology of Honor in Humans and Animals, by Dan DemetriouPart III: Reading Animal Morality9. Reading, Teaching Insects: Ant Society as Pedagogical Device in Rabbinic Literature, by Harrison King10. Jakushin's Dogs and the Goodness of Animals: Preaching the Moral Life of Beasts in Medieval Japanese Tale Literature, by Michael BathgatePart IV: Reconceiving Animal Morality11. Just Chimpanzees? A Thomistic Perspective on Ethics in a Nonhuman Species, by John Berkman12. Brutal Justice? Animal Litigation and the Question of Countertradition, by Jonathan K. Crane and Aaron S. GrossPart V: Epilogue13. Beastly Morality: Untangling Possibilities, by Jonathan K. Crane, Ani B. Satz, Lori Marino, and Cynthia WillettList of ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

This worthwhile, thought-provoking collection opens an important dialogue concerning nonhuman animals and moral agency.... Recommended.