Morality's Progress is the summation of nearly three decades of work by Dale Jamieson, a leading figure in environmental ethics and bioethics. The twenty-two papers here are invigoratingly diverse, but together tell a unified story about various aspects of the morality of our relationships to animals and to nature. Morality's Progress begins by addressing the possibility of moral progress and the value of practical ethics. It then moves on to discuss the nature of animal minds, and our moral duties with respect to animals; it concludes with essays that address larger environmental questions.
Considered as a whole, Morality's Progress is an attempt to draw out the moral consequences of a thoroughgoing Darwinian Naturalism. The perspective that informs Morality's Progress is philosophically naturalist, morally consequentialist, and metaethically constructivist. Jamieson's essays will convince sceptics that thinking about our moral relations to animals and nature can offer great intellectual reward, and his work here sets a challenging, controversial agenda for the future.
"Jamieson's style of philosophising combines common-sense thinking and rigid philosophical analysis and is scientifically informed. He articulates interesting links between different thinkers. Moreover, he does not merely focus on fascinating theoretical questions but also analyses key concepts (sustainability, ecosystem health, value) in environmental discourse, investigates important case studies (zoos, animal experimentation, global warming, biotechnology) and formulates considered value judgements. As a result his philosophical essays are exceptionally accessible to and interesting for philosophers and non-philosophers alike. In brief, what one may expect of environmental ethics at its best."
– Environmental Values
"Jamieson's book challenges both the philosopher and the non-philosopher to explore what is involved in a consistent set of beliefs about how humans relate to animals and nature. He often shows that this consistency takes us to conclusions that many of us will be uncomfortable with [...] All of his articles, two of which he has co-authored with Marc Bekoff and one with Tom Regan, exhibit a commendable clarity of writing, close argumentation and an accessible style [...] Whether or not we fully agree with him on what constitutes moralitys progress, his book certainly constitutes progress in our understanding of morality."
– Biology and Philosophy
1. Morality's Progress
2. Is Applied Ethics Worth Doing?
3. Great Apes and the Human Resistance to Equality
4. Science, Knowledge, and Animal Minds
5. On Aims and Methods of Cognitive Ethology (with Marc Bekoff)
6. Cognitive Ethology at the End of Neuroscience
7. Pain and the Evolution of Behaviour
8. On the Ethics of the Use of Animals in Science (with Tom Regan)
9. Experimenting on Animals: A Reconsideration
10. Ethics and the Study of Animal Cognition (with Marc Bekoff)
11. Against Zoos
12. Zoos Revisited
13. Wild/Captive and Other Suspect Dualisms
14. Animal Liberation is an Environmental Ethic
15. Ecosystem Health: Some Preventive Medicine
16. Values in Nature
17. The City Around Us
18. Ethics, Public Policy, and Global Warming
19. Global Environmental Justicw
20. Discourse and Moral Responsibility in Biotechnical Communication
21. Sustainability and Beyond
22. Afterword: Child of the Sixties
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Dale Jamieson is Henry R. Luce Professor in Human Dimensions of Global Change at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota.