Beastly Morality

Animals as Ethical Agents

Edited by Jonathan K. Crane

Columbia University Press

Beastly Morality

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Pub Date: December 2015

ISBN: 9780231174176

296 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.95

Pub Date: December 2015

ISBN: 9780231174169

296 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£87.95

Pub Date: December 2015

ISBN: 9780231540537

296 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£27.95

Beastly Morality

Animals as Ethical Agents

Edited by Jonathan K. Crane

Columbia University Press

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.
Issues surrounding animal moral agency have become a cutting-edge area of research in animal studies. Beastly Morality is poised to make a significant contribution to the field. Matthew Calarco, author of Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida
Beastly Morality is a wide-ranging, scholarly, and forward-looking book that will surely cause many people to think about animals in new and more respectful ways. Congratulations to all concerned. I hope it enjoys a wide audience. Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, United Nations Messenger of Peace
Building on copious contemporary philosophical and scientific work, Beastly Morality moves from previous, somewhat limited interspecific comparisons of moral behavior to a wider discourse within which the very notion of moral agency is reshaped in an open-ended, species-neutral manner, thus marking a further step in the development of a more impartial worldview. Paola Cavalieri, author of The Animal Question. Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights
This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. It does not just bring together scholars from across the academy interested in questions about the animal but also shows the synergistic benefits of intense discussions among philosophers, ethologists, and experts from diverse religious traditions. The reader is caught up in wave after wave of arguments that will challenge current thinking on the status and significance of other animals. The depth and level of inquiry is impressive while still being accessible for the nonspecialist. This book is radical in the very best sense of the word, serious scholarship combined with far reaching ethical implications. Celia Deane-Drummond, Inaugural Director of the Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing and Professor, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
This worthwhile, thought-provoking collection opens an important dialogue concerning nonhuman animals and moral agency.... Recommended. Choice
A richly interdisciplinary collection of essays examining the possibility, foundations, meaning, challenges, and repercussions of positing animals as ethical agents. Reading Religion
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Beastly Morality: A Twisting Tale, by Jonathan K. Crane
Part I: The Permeability of Morality
2. De-humanizing Morality, by Kendy Hess
3. HumAnI(m)Morality, by Sean Meighoo
4. Not All Dogs Go to Heaven: Judaism's Lessons in Beastly Morality, by Mark Goldfeder
Part II: Observing Animal Morality
5. Animal Empathy as Moral Building Block, by Frans B. M. de Waal
6. Humans, Other Animals, and the Biology of Morality, by Elisabetta Palagi
7. Moral Mutts: Social Play, Fairness, and Wild Justice, by Marc Bekoff
8. Fighting Fair: The Ecology of Honor in Humans and Animals, by Dan Demetriou
Part III: Reading Animal Morality
9. Reading, Teaching Insects: Ant Society as Pedagogical Device in Rabbinic Literature, by Harrison King
10. Jakushin's Dogs and the Goodness of Animals: Preaching the Moral Life of Beasts in Medieval Japanese Tale Literature, by Michael Bathgate
Part IV: Reconceiving Animal Morality
11. Just Chimpanzees? A Thomistic Perspective on Ethics in a Nonhuman Species, by John Berkman
12. Brutal Justice? Animal Litigation and the Question of Countertradition, by Jonathan K. Crane and Aaron S. Gross
Part V: Epilogue
13. Beastly Morality: Untangling Possibilities, by Jonathan K. Crane, Ani B. Satz, Lori Marino, and Cynthia Willett
List of Contributors
Index

Read an excerpt from the introduction:

About the Author

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 Bioethics.