Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 877–879 | Cite as

Anna L. Peterson: Being Animal: Beasts & Boundaries in Nature Ethics

Columbia University Press, 2013, 222p, € 23,27
  • Andrew Woodhall

Peterson’s book offers an appraisal of current approaches to environmental and animal ethics and deftly critiques the traditional division between the two fields. Attempts to unite the two fields, Peterson claims, have made little progress. Most have concluded that the divide between the two is irreconcilable, but Peterson argues that the divide is counterintuitive, does not reflect our current practice, and does not represent nature, nonhuman-animals, or humanity, correctly.

Throughout the book Peterson attempts to demonstrate why other theories have failed, arguing that the mutual exclusivity of the two fields derives from each relying on an incorrect idea of how nature, nonhumans, and humans relate to—and depend upon—each other. Our actual behaviour shows that we do not think that we must be either an environmental or an animal ethicist, but that we act as if we areboth. Peterson argues that by challenging this idea of mutual exclusivity a new theory can be put forward that...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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