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Why Animal Experimentation Matters: The Use of Animals in Medical Research (New Studies in Social Policy, 2) Paperback – May 18, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0765806857 ISBN-10: 0765806851

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Product Details

  • Series: New Studies in Social Policy, 2 (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (May 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765806851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765806857
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,220,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellen Frankel Paul is deputy director of the Social Philosophy and Policy Center and is professor of political science and philosophy at Bowling Green State University. She is also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Her writings have appeared in numerous journals, including Public Affairs Quarterly, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. Her books include Liberty, Property, and Government: Constitutional Interpretation before the New Deal, and Totalitarianism at the Crossroads.

Customer Reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Nobis on October 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is intended to provide a scientific and ethical defense of using animals as models for medical research. It fails in both respects. Those interested in the topics (and those who teach on the topic who try to give a balanced perspective on the issue) will have to wait for a future defense of the practice that actually engages the issues on a more scholarly level, especially with regards to the scientific aspects of the debate.
Two recent books, "Brute Science: Dilemas of Animal Experimentation" (by two philosophers and a scientist) and "Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: The Human Cost of Experimentation on Animals," (by an MD and a DVM) have condemned the use of animals in medical research, product testing, and toxicology.
Their condemnation is based on purely scientific reasons: small differences between species at the cellular level make it impossible to reliably extrapolate results from one species to another. Since it can't be predicted how a drug will affect a mouse on the basis of how it affects a rat, it is all the more difficult to predict how a human will be affected by a drug, chemical or treatment on the basis of an animal's response.
Thus, animals are poor models for human disease and physiological responses and so it's not in our best interest to use them as they are not a source of reliable information. The details of medical history show that animal have not been reliable models; evolutionary theory explains why this is so.
One not need have any views on "animal rights" or other philosophical matters to find vivisection highly suspect.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
One reviewer praises the book because you don't have to know anything about science or ethics to understand it. Another reviewer critizes it because it's written at about a Jr. High level of understanding of biology, medical research, logic and ethics. Having read the book, I'd agree more with the second reviewer. The fact that the book is easy to read and doesn't require ANY background knowledge does not make the book better.
This book is just not very good. It is disappointing in many ways. It just doesn't engage the issues of the ethics or the science in a deep and careful way. Even those who think animal research is a good thing really should be able to admit this and think that there needs to be a better book that defends animal research. I guess they think they don't need to and maybe that's true, at least for now.
It sure would have been nice if they could have found a physician to write a chapter for the book: a perspective from someone that actually deals with sick people would have been good.
One thing the first positive reviewer forgot to mention in his praise of the philosopher R.G. Frey was this: Frey thinks that if you are going to allow animal experimentation, rationality requires that you be open to the possibility of allowing experimentation on "terminally defective" newborn babies and other "mentally challenged" human beings. He thinks you can't rationally defend the idea that there are things that rightly can be done to animals (such as research that causes pain and death) but can never rightly be done to any humans. Frey thinks that view can only be defended from a Judeo-Christian theistic perspective, which he rejects as unreasonable (or thinks there isn't good evidence to accept that there is a God). Frey's view is at least consistent, unlike most of the other moral views given in defense of animal research.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
One reviewer praises the book because you don't have to know anything about science or ethics to understand it. Another reviewer critizes it because it's written at about a Jr. High level of understanding of biology, medical research, logic and ethics. Having read the book, I'd agree more with the second reviewer. The fact that the book is easy to read and doesn't require ANY background knowledge does not make the book better.
This book is just not very good. It is disappointing in many ways. It just doesn't engage the issues of the ethics or the science in a deep and careful way. Even those who think animal research is a good thing really should be able to admit this and think that there needs to be a better book that defends animal research. I guess they think they don't need to and maybe that's true, at least for now.
It sure would have been nice if they could have found a physician to write a chapter for the book: a perspective from someone that actually deals with sick people would have been good.
One thing the first positive reviewer forgot to mention in his praise of the philosopher R.G. Frey was this: Frey thinks that if you are going to allow animal experimentation, rationality requires that you be open to the possibility of allowing experimentation on "terminally defective" newborn babies and other "mentally challenged" human beings. He thinks you can't rationally defend the idea that there are things that rightly can be done to animals (such as research that causes pain and death) but can never rightly be done to any humans. Frey thinks that view can only be defended from a Judeo-Christian theistic perspective, which he rejects as unreasonable (or thinks there isn't good evidence to accept that there is a God). Frey's view is at least consistent, unlike most of the other moral views given in defense of animal research.
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Why Animal Experimentation Matters: The Use of Animals in Medical Research (New Studies in Social Policy, 2)
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