Interspecies Ethics

Paperback | August 5, 2014

byCynthia Willett

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Interspecies Ethics explores animals' vast capacity for agency, justice, solidarity, humor, and communication across species. The social bonds diverse animals form provide a remarkable model for communitarian justice and cosmopolitan peace, challenging the human exceptionalism that drives modern moral theory. Situating biosocial ethics firmly within coevolutionary processes, this volume has profound implications for work in social and political thought, contemporary pragmatism, Africana thought, and continental philosophy.

Interspecies Ethics develops a communitarian model for multispecies ethics, rebalancing the overemphasis on competition in the original Darwinian paradigm by drawing out and stressing the cooperationist aspects of evolutionary theory through mutual aid. The book's ethical vision offers an alternative to utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethics, building its argument through rich anecdotes and clear explanations of recent scientific discoveries regarding animals and their agency. Geared toward a general as well as a philosophical audience, the text illuminates a variety of theories and contrasting approaches, tracing the contours of a postmoral ethics.

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Interspecies Ethics explores animals' vast capacity for agency, justice, solidarity, humor, and communication across species. The social bonds diverse animals form provide a remarkable model for communitarian justice and cosmopolitan peace, challenging the human exceptionalism that drives modern moral theory. Situating biosocial ethic...

Cynthia Willett is a professor of philosophy at Emory University. Her books include Irony in the Age of Empire: Comic Perspectives on Freedom and Democracy; The Soul of Justice: Racial Hubris and Social Bonds; and Maternal Ethics and Other Slave Moralities. She has also edited the anthology Theorizing Multiculturalism and is a coedito...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:August 5, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231167776

ISBN - 13:9780231167772

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Read an excerpt from the final chapter, "Coda; or the Song of the Dog-Man":

Table of Contents

Introduction: New Ideals of Belonging and Africana Origins of Interspecies Living1. Can the Animal Subaltern Laugh? Neoliberal Inversions, Cross-Species Solidarities, and Other Challenges to Human Exceptionalism, with Julie Willett2. Paleolithic Ethics: Ethics' Evolution from Play, the Interspecies Community Selection Hypothesis, and Anarchic Communitarianism3. Affect Attunement: Discourse Ethics Across Species4. Water and Wing Give Wonder: Meditations on Cosmopolitan Peace5. Reflections: A Model and a Vision of Ethical LifeCoda; or, The Song of the Dog-Man: Mourning in J. M. Coetzee's DisgraceAcknowledgmentsNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

A wonderful book that insists upon our return to the paleozoic ground of ethics and opens so many doors for further thinking about how we animals must live together as the planet evolves in strange and horrifying ways.