229 pages, 66 illus
Have humans been sharing the planet with other intelligent life for millions of years without realizing it? In Defense of Dolphins combines accessible science and philosophy, surveying the latest research on dolphin intelligence and social behavior, to advocate for their ethical treatment.
'Alien intelligence' or 'nonhuman person', or...? You will never think about dolphins the same way after reading this insightful and thought-provoking new book.--Jerry R. Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific "In Defense of Dolphins - the New Moral Frontier is the most important book ever written about these animals.This is a book that has been crying out to be produced, but one that could only be properly written now. Professor White has carefully, indeed painstakingly, taken the latest scientific research and used it to address the key questions that make the case for dolphinkind to be given 'moral standing' or 'rights'. His case is compelling and the book is both fascinating as an exercise in the systematic distillation of information, as well as its status as the key document that makes a case for the better treatment of dolphins.It is also highly readable and rich with remarkable insights into dolphin intelligence and behaviour. This is a book that everyone interested in dolphins should read - and as the human race is rightly fascinated in dolphinkind it should have a wide readership. Certainly it deserves this.In Defense of Dolphins - the New Moral Frontier gives the human race a new and major challenge. We can no longer pretend that dolphins are just 'animals' - unthinking, simple, reactive, living mechanisms - they are far more than this; they are the 'people' of the sea (or as Thomas White concludes 'at least nonhuman persons'). It is clearly no longer acceptable to cause dolphins painful deaths in nets or incarcerate them in aquaria, or otherwise hunt or persecute them. We need to rethink the way that we are treating them - and we need to do this quickly. This is now an urgent obligation for our species."--Mark Simmonds, International Director of Science, WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Prologue: Why does a philosopher study dolphins? 1. Dolphins: The Philosophical Questions. 2. The Anatomy and Physiology of Living in the Water. 3. Do Dolphins Think and Feel? 4. Can Dolphins Solve Problems and Understand Language? 5. Dolphin Social Intelligence. 6. What Kind of Beings are Dolphins? 7. Ethics and Human/Dolphin Contact. Epilogue.
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Thomas I. White, Ph.D. is the Hilton Professor of Business Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethics and Business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He is also the Scientific Advisor to the Wild Dolphin Project in Jupiter, Florida. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1974, and he taught at Upsala College and Rider University in New Jersey before moving to California. In addition to numerous scholarly articles on a variety of philosophical topics, he is the author of Right and Wrong, Discovering Philosophy, Business Ethics and Men and Women at Work (with Katherine Kearney). Since 1990, he has observed and assisted with the research of Dr. Denise Herzing of the Wild Dolphin Project, a marine scientist who has been studying a community of wild Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Bahamas for more than 20 years.