Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why Animals Matter

Here’s a review, by Jonelle DePetro, PhD, ofMarian Stamp Dawkins’s book, Why Animals Matter: Animal Consciousness, Animal Welfare, and Human Well-Being

The link to the review is here: Review: Why Animals Matter

DePetro’s conclusion about the book:

Why Animals Matter is a scholarly and accessible account of the complicated link between human interests and animal welfare. Yet, Dawkins says the book is not an attempt to persuade you to treat animals differently. This seemed disingenuous at first. Why bother to write a book about animal welfare, if not to try to change behavior? Especially one titled, Why Animals Matter. But perhaps this is because the immediate goal is not really to change your treatment of animals, but instead to clarify current views about what constitutes good welfare for animals, challenge what is required for arguments about animal welfare to succeed, and illustrate how and where human and animal interests intersect. Of course, the reason for doing all this, and for insisting on scientific respectability, is ultimately to effect changes in policy and practice just where evidence deems it suitable.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: Why Animals Matter
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

Robot Ethics

Here’s a short piece about a review (by Brad Allenby) of Patrick Lin et al’s book, Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics.

The review itself is in Nature and requires login, but the short article about the review is here: Robot advances raise ethical, cultural questions for society

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

Here’s a review, by David Willetts , of Martin Nowak and Roger Highfield’s book, SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

The link to the review is here: The invisible hand that binds us all

Willetts’s bottom line:

Like other great controversialists, Mr Nowak moves from decision matrices to emotive moral language. He says the best strategy is to be hopeful, generous and forgiving. Hopeful means you first try co-operation – your opening move should be positive. Generous means not to be as concerned where you are relative to others as to obscure your own gains from interaction even if they are more modest. Forgiving means if someone else defects, you do not defect straightaway but try to re-establish co-operation, not least because it could have been an accidental mistake.

We cannot just offer freedom, opportunity and choice without also recognising the power of belonging, commitment and roots. But all politicians can draw inspiration and ideas from the intellectual resources of this exciting approach.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

Authenticity Hoax

Here’s a review (by Paul Beston, writing for the Wall Street Journal) of Andrew Potter’s new book, The Authenticity Hoax Why It’s So Hard To Get Real

Remember when eating organic food made you unusual? That was barely a decade ago, when people in the vanguard celebrated the superior taste of organic food, not mention its health benefits and environmental friendliness. But no sooner had the rest of us caught up than organic advocates began arguing that what really mattered was locally grown food. They pushed for the 100-mile diet, according to which one eats only food grown within that distance from one’s home. Local-food evangelists now scorn the distantly grown organic products in places like Whole Foods and—above all—Wal-Mart. Of course, the problem with locally grown food is that it can be difficult to find and afford.

For Andrew Potter, the ever-narrowing search for just the right kind of food has less to do with saving the environment or pursuing a healthy lifestyle than with achieving a certain self-image, one in which the tawdry, consumerist aspects of modern life are thrown over for the sake of a simpler, truer, more “authentic” self. Food is only one part of that broader self-definition. In “The Authenticity Hoax,” Mr. Potter notes that the search for authenticity often ends up as a status-seeking game….

And here’s my own interview with Andrew Potter, over on The Business Ethics Blog.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: The Authenticity Hoax
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

The Yes Men Fix the World (Documentary)

You’re likely to be hearing about a pair of pranksters known as “The Yes Men” over the next few days, due to one of their recent pranks. So this is probably a good time to point to my review of their film, “The Yes Men Fix the World”. The review concludes as follows:

Bottom line: would I show it in class? Yeah, probably. The film has its funny moments, and the issues it discusses (from the Bhopal disaster to climate change) are important ones. But I’d also use it as an opportunity to point out to my students that the thing they ought to be trying to get out of my Business Ethics course is the ability not just to lament corporate wrongdoing, or to poke fun at it, but to understand the world in which that wrongdoing goes on well enough to allow them to critique it in a way that lends itself to real change.

You can buy the DVD on Amazon, by clicking here: Title Here
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

Meat: A Benign Extravagance

Here’s a skeptical blog entry (by me) about George Monbiot’s reaction to Simon Fairlie’s book, Meat: A Benign Extravagance: Meat Production and Utopian Fantasies

According to Monbiot:

The meat-producing system Fairlie advocates differs sharply from the one now practised in the rich world: low energy, low waste, just, diverse, small-scale. But if we were to adopt it, we could eat meat, milk and eggs (albeit much less) with a clean conscience. By keeping out of the debate over how livestock should be kept, those of us who have advocated veganism have allowed the champions of cruel, destructive, famine-inducing meat farming to prevail. It’s time we got stuck in.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here: Meat: A Benign Extravagance
(As always, no endorsement is implied.)

The Elements of Ethics for Professionals

Here’s my own review of The Elements of Ethics for Professionals (written by W. Brad Johnson and Charles R. Ridley) on the Business Ethics Blog.

You can buy the book on Amazon, by clicking here:
The Elements of Ethics for Professionals

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