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e-Book Animals and Why They Matter download

e-Book Animals and Why They Matter download

by Mary Midgley

ISBN: 0820320412
ISBN13: 978-0820320410
Language: English
Publisher: University of Georgia Press; Reissue edition (September 1, 1998)
Pages: 160
Category: Humanities
Subategory: Other

ePub size: 1299 kb
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Rating: 4.6
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Mary Midgley examines the general principles that ought to guide our attitude to animals. Midgley quotes a large number of philosophers who in the past have philosophized about animals.

Mary Midgley examines the general principles that ought to guide our attitude to animals. Some of them have considered the question of what obligations, if any, we have towards animals. Their answers have depended both on what they take an animal to be and on what they consider to be the cause, the nature and the range of obligations. Descartes, for example, considered that, because animals lacked souls and, more importantly, reasoning faculties, they are mere machines.

Mary Midgley's profound and clearly written narrative is a tho Animals and Why They Matter examines the barriers that our philosophical traditions have erected between human beings and animals and reveals that the too-often ridiculed subject of animal rights is an issue crucially related t. .

Mary Midgley's profound and clearly written narrative is a tho Animals and Why They Matter examines the barriers that our philosophical traditions have erected between human beings and animals and reveals that the too-often ridiculed subject of animal rights is an issue crucially related to such problems within the human community as racism, sexism, and age discrimination.

Mary Beatrice Midgley (née Scrutton; 13 September 1919 – 10 October 2018) was a British philosopher. A senior lecturer in philosophy at Newcastle University, she was known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights

Mary Beatrice Midgley (née Scrutton; 13 September 1919 – 10 October 2018) was a British philosopher. A senior lecturer in philosophy at Newcastle University, she was known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights. She wrote her first book, Beast And Man (1978), when she was in her fifties, and went on to write over 15 more, including Animals and Why They Matter (1983), Wickedness (1984), The Ethical Primate (1994), Evolution as a Religion (1985), and Science as Salvation (1992)

Mary Midgley's profound and clearly written narrative is a.Whether considering vegetarianism, women's rights, or the "humanity" of pets, this book goes to the heart of the question of why all animals matter.

Mary Midgley's profound and clearly written narrative is a thought-provoking study of the way in which the opposition between reason and emotion has shaped our moral and political ideas and the problems it has raised.

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Some years ago the philosopher Mary Midgley wrote Animals and Why Thev Matter. Animals and Why They Matter. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 2. Donnelley . Nolan . Eds. 1990. Animals, Science and Ethics. Special Supplement, The Hastings Center Report, 21:3: 1–32.

Midgley's first book, Beast and Man, was published when she was in her late fifties. Coetzee's protagonist for example is concerned with the moral status of animals, a subject Midgley addressed in Animals and Why They Matter

Midgley's first book, Beast and Man, was published when she was in her late fifties. After leaving Oxford, she worked for the civil service, and as a teacher at Downe School and Bedford School. She returned to Oxford in 1947 to work for Gilbert Murray. In 1949, she went to Reading University, teaching in the philosophy department there. Coetzee's protagonist for example is concerned with the moral status of animals, a subject Midgley addressed in Animals and Why They Matter. Coetzee's protagonist also discusses at length the idea of sympathy as an ethical concept, a subject Midgley wrote about in Beast and Man.

Animals and Why They Matter examines the barriers that our philosophical traditions have erected between human beings and animals and reveals that the too-often ridiculed subject of animal rights is an issue crucially related to such problems within the human community as racism, sexism, and age discrimination. Mary Midgley's profound and clearly written narrative is a thought-provoking study of the way in which the opposition between reason and emotion has shaped our moral and political ideas and the problems it has raised. Whether considering vegetarianism, women's rights, or the "humanity" of pets, this book goes to the heart of the question of why all animals matter.
Comments:
Jediathain
Marvelous! I'm reading Midgley's oeuvre from the beginning and this - her third book - was an absolute and total delight. Especially in light of how difficult I found Heart and Mind (2nd book; compilation of essays). While, obviously, some of the material Midgley references is out of date regarding our studies of animals, the philosophical principles she presents remain solid, and she has, I believe, proved her point in "removing barriers which our tradition has erected against concern for animals." I appreciate her logical, pragmatic approach to a topic (animal welfare) that I am passionate about and committed to; my hope is that some of what I learned will filter through me and into conversations with people who see no point in eliminating animal suffering.

Gela
Robert Moore above says it all, but I just wanted to add that this is one of the best philosophy books I've ever read. I teach philosophy so that's a big thing to say. The philosophy of the writer Midgley is very very sharp and although it's common sense in some cases, Midgley has extraordinary common sense.

While the French are fruit loops and the Americans dry as dust in philosophy, Midgley operates out of a witty but kind, sharp but not prickly, Britishness, that is too often as Moore put it, unjustly neglected.

If you're tired of stupid Deleuze and mindless Foucault, as well as erudite but incomprehensible Peirce, open up Midgley. Midgley, Midgley, Midgley!

I've read three of her books in a row, and this one is by far the best. Midgley is right on the money in every sentence throughout this book.

Bravura performance without a trace of Deleuzian diva-dom.

Somehow she gets you to see that animals aren't that different from us (at least among the social species of animal such as cats and dogs and simians) and she also provides us with a primer of philosophers on animal and women's rights in tight little nuggets that are highly condensed and yet insatiably readable. This is the book for anyone interested in teaching a course on animal rights. Nothing else will do.

Hudora
...in the sense that it is a deeply thoughtful meditation on our relationship to animals. Other reviews have said it all. I can only add that I was struck by how small the book is, considering its depth. Its honest and unpretentious approach deserves a wide readership.

Mataxe
Mary Midgley examines the general principles that ought to guide our attitude to animals. Midgley quotes a large number of philosophers who in the past have philosophized about animals. Some of them have considered the question of what obligations, if any, we have towards animals. Their answers have depended both on what they take an animal to be and on what they consider to be the cause, the nature and the range of obligations. Descartes, for example, considered that, because animals lacked souls and, more importantly, reasoning faculties, they are mere machines. Even in Descartes' day, such a conclusion must have seemed very odd to anyone who had much to do with animals: for even if one agreed that they did lack souls and reasoning faculties, any farmer or hunter could have told Descartes that relationships with animals are radically different from relationships with machines. But even writers of our own time, while not thinking of animals as machines, still deny them the capacity of thought: R.G.Frey because thought requires language and animals cannot speak; Stuart Hampshire because in the absence of language they cannot have concepts. Yet the simplest observations of how animals communicate with each other and even with humans would seem to suggest that thought, concepts and reasoning do not depend totally on a human language.

Behaviourists go even further: we cannot even be sure that animals have feelings. The denial of thought and feelings to animals serve to erect such a strong barrier between the human and the animal species that we can exclude the animal species from the obligations we feel towards our fellow human beings. One of the most striking part of Midgley's book is her demonstration how easily past generations were able to overlook even other humans as belonging to a group towards which they had obligations. Thus the Athenians, who prided themselves on civic equality, and the Americans who proclaimed that all men were created equal, simply assumed that slaves did not count as humans: indeed Aristotle described slaves as being merely "living instruments". The Chartists demanded universal suffrage for men, but either did not even think of extending that demand to women or, if they did, found some rationalization for excluding them. The excluded groups were, in Midgley's words, consigned to the outer darkness, beyond the outer periphery of a group towards the members of which certain obligations were recognized. In the 20th century, denials of full membership of the group and the discrimination which this entails have been condemned under the name of various kinds of "-isms": racism for denying membership to other races, sexism for denying it to women, ageism for denying it to the old - and now speciesism for denying it to animals. Midgley's book is a sign that the time has come to widen the periphery of our obligations to include animals.

Midgley admits that it is natural to be more concerned with those who are closest to us, and she has a diagram of concentric circles to illustrate that we are concerned most immediately with our family, then with our tribe, then with our nation, then with our species, and only then with non-human species. We often treat appallingly badly and cast into the "outer darkness" human groups that are outside the smaller circles; but any ethically sensitive person has to condemn such behaviour: charity, as the proverb has it, begins at home, but it ought not to stop there. This is the principle that should also apply when we consider the outer circle of the non-human species.

Midgley's tone is always moderate and she never takes up the position of radical or extreme zoophiles who would want us to give to all animals exactly the same rights as we give to humans. She accepts that there must be some priority of considerations and that there can be situations where it is reasonable for us to put the interests of humans before those of animals, though she says that such cases are much fewer than is often supposed. They would include, for example, dealing with locusts and other pests. She does not go into specific details about killing animals for food; but one can deduce from her text that she would accept that Eskimoes cannot be vegetarians and are therefore justified to kill for food, and that she does not condemn pastoral societies who treat their animals well prior to slaughtering them. On the other hand she clearly abhors stuffing geese to produce paté de foie gras. She states the general principle that great suffering inflicted on animals on the outer periphery ought to weigh against the minor advantage that this might bring to those within the inner circles.

One would like to think that at the end of her examination, Midgley had arrived at positions which most sensitive people would have reached without all that philosophizing, guided merely by their humanity and common sense. Most of them would understand instinctively why animals matter; but unfortunately many people give this understanding such a low priority that as citizens they do not do enough to take on the vested interests and those who are too apathetic to care very much. Perhaps this well-written and wise little book would stir them into action.

Onath
When I taught a course on Animals and Ethics, I chose this volume over all others as my primary text. While Peter Singer's ANIMAL LIBERATION first awoke my consciousness to the tragedy of the manner in which humans have regarded and treated animals, I found the philosophical underpinnings of his work (a form of utilitarianism) troublesome (for reasons I won't go into here). On the other hand, I found Tom Regan's THE CASE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS, to be far too Kantian. Midgley discusses a wide-ranging group of philosophers, but doesn't overly attach herself to any particular moral philosophy. As a result, she is less doctrinaire than any of the other major writers on the topic. The book reeks of common sense, in the way that the English so often seem to have mastered. Just a wonderful, unjustly neglected book.

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