New Book Reveals Complex Morality Systems in Non-Human Animals
Evolution-Based Theory Challenges Conventional Thinking
“Dale Peterson adds originality and astonishing clarity to a discussion that has engaged science and philosophy in sometimes heated debate. This book is a delight to read. The Moral Lives of Animals will change the way many think of animals, and it will vindicate what others have always known intuitively. It deserves to be an instant bestseller.”—Jane Goodall
“The Moral Lives of Animals is without question the most fascinating book I’ve read in many, many years—a marvelously written page-turner about an important subject which until now has received little if any attention…There’s a special place in the hearts of many of us for books that express the ‘one-ness’ of life on earth, and this book tops them all.”—Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs
“Instead of humanity having developed morality from scratch, by means of its superior intellect, things may well have started simpler. In our fellow primates, we already recognize many of the tendencies that gave rise to the moral emotions. Dale Peterson does an excellent and engaging job explaining how the one may have led to the other. In doing so, he places us closer to other animals than many a moral philosopher would ever admit.”—Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy
Wild elephants walking along a trail stop and spontaneously try to protect and assist a weak and dying fellow elephant. Lab rats, finding other rats caged nearby in distressing circumstances, proceed to rescue them. A chimpanzee in a zoo loses his own life trying to save an unrelated infant who has fallen into a watery moat. These scenes (actually observed) are often dismissed as odd happenstance after a moment of mild astonishment or simple amusement. But could there be more?
For centuries, we humans have viewed ourselves as the sole possessors of moral sense. However, in his new book, The Moral Lives of Animals, critically-acclaimed author Dale Peterson, Ph.D shows that morality in non-human animals not only exists, but can be—and is—a complex system of inclinations and inhibitions, much like our own.
THE MORAL LIVES OF ANIMALS By Dale Peterson Publication date: March 22, 2011 Hardcover, $26.00 352 pages ISBN-13 978-1-59691-424-7
THE MORAL LIVES OF ANIMALS
By Dale Peterson
Publication date: March 22, 2011