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Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism"--our systematic disregard of nonhuman animals--inspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today's "factory farms" and product-testing procedures--destroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike.
In this ground-breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature. He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals.Singer explains why the left originally rejected Darwinian thought and why these reasons are no longer viable. He discusses how twentieth-century thinking has transformed our understanding of Darwinian evolution, showing that it is compatible with cooperation as well as competition, and that the left can draw on this modern understanding to foster cooperation for socially desirable ends. A Darwinian left, says Singer, would still be on the side of the weak, poor, and oppressed, but it would have a better understanding of what social and economic changes would really work to benefit them. It would also work toward a higher moral status for nonhuman animals and a less anthropocentric view of our dominance over nature.
What is ethics? Where do moral standards come from? Are they based on emotions, reason, or some innate sense of right and wrong? For many scientists, the key lies entirely in biology--especially in Darwinian theories of evolution and self-preservation. But if evolution is a struggle for survival, why are we still capable of altruism? In his classic study The Expanding Circle, Peter Singer argues that altruism began as a genetically based drive to protect one's kin and community members but has developed into a consciously chosen ethic with an expanding circle of moral concern. Drawing on philosophy and evolutionary psychology, he demonstrates that human ethics cannot be explained by biology alone. Rather, it is our capacity for reasoning that makes moral progress possible. In a new afterword, Singer takes stock of his argument in light of recent research on the evolution of morality.
The health-sciences equivalent of Thomas Friedman's bestseller The World is Flat, this inspiring and revelatory book by two of today's finest scientists shows how advances in global health will transform lives -- particularly in the developing world -- over the next decade.The Grandest Challenge begins with a simple premise: that every person's life is of equal value, regardless of where in the world he or she lives. It also begins with a simple, alarming fact: in this age of spectacular scientific advances, it is still those who live in the developed world -- in the West -- who benefit most from our enormous power to combat disease, and those in the developing world who are most likely to die for lack of basic, inexpensive care and nutrition.In this revelatory book, distinguished scientists Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer argue that the revolution in biotechnology can save millions of lives -- but only if we find a way to bring knowledge and treatments out of state-of-the-art labs and into the world's most remote villages. The doctors lead us on an eye-opening, globe-spanning tour, showing us in vivid detail how developing countries can and are breaking the cycle of dependence, exchanging knowledge, and creating solutions that work for their own people as well as the rest of us.From the Hardcover edition.
Hegel is regarded as one of the most influential figures on modern political and intellectual development. After painting Hegel's life and times in broad strokes, Peter Singer goes on to tackle some of the more challenging aspects of Hegel's philosophy. Offering a broad discussion of Hegel's ideas and an account of his major works, Singer explains what have often been considered abstruse and obscure ideas in a clear and inviting manner.
refutes the idea that humans are by nature selfish; powerful call to live an ethical life.
In 2003, South African writer J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his riveting portrayals of racial repression, sexual politics, the guises of reason, and the hypocrisy of human beings toward animals and nature. Coetzee was credited with being "a scrupulous doubter, ruthless in his criticism of the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of western civilization." The film of his novel Disgrace, starring John Malkovich, brought his challenging ideas to a new audience. Anton Leist and Peter Singer have assembled an outstanding group of contributors who probe deeply into Coetzee's extensive and extraordinary corpus. They explore his approach to ethical theory and philosophy and pay particular attention to his representation of the human-animal relationship. They also confront Coetzee's depiction of the elementary conditions of life, the origins of morality, the recognition of value in others, the sexual dynamics between men and women, the normality of suppression, and the possibility of equality in postcolonial society. With its wide-ranging consideration of philosophical issues, especially in relation to fiction, this volume stands alone in its extraordinary exchange of ethical and literary inquiry.
This is the right time to ask yourself: "What should I be doing to help?" For the first time in history, it is now within our reach to eradicate world poverty and the suffering it brings. Yet around the world, a billion people struggle to live each day on less than many of us pay for bottled water. And though the number of deaths attributable to poverty worldwide has fallen dramatically in the past half-century, nearly ten million children still die unnecessarily each year. The people of the developed world face a profound choice: If we are not to turn our backs on a fifth of the world's population, we must become part of the solution. In The Life You Can Save, philosopher Peter Singer, named one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine, uses ethical arguments, provocative thought experiments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving to show that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but ethically indefensible. Singer contends that we need to change our views of what is involved in living an ethical life. To help us play our part in bringing about that change, he offers a seven-point plan that mixes personal philanthropy (figuring how much to give and how best to give it), local activism (spreading the word in your community), and political awareness (contacting your representatives to ensure that your nation's foreign aid is really directed to the world's poorest people). In The Life You Can Save, Singer makes the irrefutable argument that giving will make a huge difference in the lives of others, without diminishing the quality of our own. This book is an urgent call to action and a hopeful primer on the power of compassion, when mixed with rigorous investigation and careful reasoning, to lift others out of despair.
Marx wrote at such enormous length, on so many different subjects, that it is not easy to see his ideas as a whole. I believe that there is a central idea, a vision of the world, which unifies all of Marx's thought and explains what would otherwise be puzzling features of it. In this book I try to say, in terms comprehensible to those with little or no previous knowledge of Marx's writings, what this central vision is.
Known for his original and courageous thinking on matters ranging from the treatment of animals to genetic screening, Peter Singer now turns his attention to the ethical issues surrounding globalization. In this provocative book, he challenges us to think beyond the boundaries of nation-states and consider what a global ethic could mean in today's world. Singer raises novel questions about such an ethic and, more important, he provides illuminating and practical answers. The book encompasses four main global issues: climate change, the role of the World Trade Organization, human rights and humanitarian intervention, and foreign aid. Singer addresses each vital issue from an ethical perspective and offers alternatives to the state-centric approach that characterizes international theory and relations today. Posing a bold challenge to narrow or nationalistic views, Singer presents a realistic, new way of looking at contemporary global issues-through a prism of ethics.
For thirty years, Peter Singer's Practical Ethics has been the classic introduction to applied ethics. For this third edition, the author has revised and updated all the chapters, and added a new chapter addressing climate change, one of the most important ethical challenges of our generation. Some of the questions discussed in this book concern our daily lives. Is it ethical to buy luxuries when others do not have enough to eat? Should we buy meat from intensively reared animals? Am I doing something wrong if my carbon footprint is above the global average? Other questions confront us as concerned citizens: equality and discrimination on the grounds of race or sex; abortion, the use of embryos for research, and euthanasia; political violence and terrorism; and the preservation of our planet's environment. This book's lucid style and provocative arguments make it an ideal text for university courses and for anyone willing to think about how she or he ought to live.
"It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good?Primates and Philosopherstackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality. In this provocative book, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes. Science has thus exacerbated our reciprocal habits of blaming nature when we act badly and labeling the good things we do as "humane. " Seeking the origin of human morality not in evolution but in human culture, science insists that we are moral by choice, not by nature. Citing remarkable evidence based on his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal attacks "Veneer Theory," which posits morality as a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature. He explains how we evolved from a long line of animals that care for the weak and build cooperation with reciprocal transactions. Drawing on both Darwin and recent scientific advances, de Waal demonstrates a strong continuity between human and animal behavior. In the process, he also probes issues such as anthropomorphism and human responsibilities toward animals. Based on the Tanner Lectures de Waal delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2004,Primates and Philosophersincludes responses by the philosophers Peter Singer, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Philip Kitcher and the science writer Robert Wright. They press de Waal to clarify the differences between humans and other animals, yielding a lively debate that will fascinate all those who wonder about the origins and reach of human goodness.
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