The book is interesting, stimulating, and well worth reading for anyone interested in animals' cognition and/or moral status.
(Julia Tanner Journal of Applied Philosophy
Steiner weaves his narrative through a great deal of material, and in the end proposes a theory of kinship that is sure both to provoke and delight.
(Brett Buchanan Society & Animals
Animals and the Moral Community is a stimulating and comprehensive philosophical inquiry into animal cognition and sentience and the bearing of what we learn about animal minds on how we treat them. Although Gary Steiner argues that animals are unable to make rational inferences, his notions of cosmic holism and cosmic justice demand nonviolence toward animals and that we value their moral status as we value our own. A radical shift in how we treat animals will have a positive effect not only on their lives but also on ours, and I hope that the principle of cosmic justice will be adopted globally.
(Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals
, Animals Matter
, and, with Jessica Pierce, the forthcoming Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals
In this marvelously clear and accessible book, Gary Steiner presents an innovative theory of animal cognition that does not depend on nonhuman animals having conceptual or predicative abilities in order for us to explain their behavior. He defends the view that only sentience is required for full membership in the moral community, but he maintains that we must go beyond the liberal tradition if we want to achieve the recognition of moral personhood for nonhuman animals. The solution he proposes is a theory of cosmic holism that recognizes our kinship with other animals but that includes the liberal values of rationality, justice, and fairness. This is an important book that will fundamentally restructure our discourse about animal cognition. Steiner's theory of cosmic holism is one of the most important developments in animal ethics in recent years.
(Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers University, and author of Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation
Even those who disagree with Gary Steiner's vegan end point will appreciate the thoroughness with which he surveys two and a half millenia of Western philosophical thought about the minds and moral status of animals. Steiner argues that although animals are incapable of rational thinking, what matters morally is that they are intelligent, sentient beings, whose lives should matter to us because their lives matter to them.
(Colin Allen, professor of history and philosophy of science, professor of cognitive science, Indiana University, Bloomington)
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