Human culture values some nonhumans but not others, while human culture as a whole is engaged with an incredibly diverse range of living beings.
Animal studies is a growing interdisciplinary field that incorporates scholarship from public policy, sociology, religion, politics, philosophy, and many other fields. In essence, it seeks to understand how humans study and conceive of other-than-human animals, and how these conceptions have changed over time, across cultures, and among various scholarly modes of inquiry. This interdisciplinary introduction to the field boldly and creatively foregrounds the realities of nonhuman animals, as
well as the imaginative and ethical faculties that humans must engage to consider our intersection with living beings outside of our species.
The field requires both learning and unlearning to develop forms of critical thinking that are scientifically informed and ethically sensitive. This book is a frank assessment of the ways human-centered approaches undermine the core values of the scientific tradition, robust education, and human compassion. Further, it argues that the breadth and depth of thinking and the humility needed to grasp the human-nonhuman intersection has the potential to expand the dualism that currently divides the
sciences and humanities.
As the first holistic survey of the field, Animal Studies is essential reading for any student of human-animal relationships, and for all people who care about the role nonhuman animals play in our society.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 968 g
Dimensions: 259 x 183 x 29 mm
Paul Waldau's book will help to define the emerging field of animal studies. To draw together and summarize such diverse work from many different disciplines is a considerable achievement in itself. But Animal Studies does much more than that, for the reader will benefit from Waldau's well-grounded assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the writers and disciplines he discusses. * Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University *
There are few people who could write a comprehensive and balanced review of the wide-ranging field of Animal Studies, and Paul Waldau is surely one of them. I learned a lot from this seminal and well-written book that sets the standard for future works in this area. We should all aspire to a healthy and vibrant world in which human and nonhuman animals coexist peacefully, for when we compromise the lives of other animals we also suffer the consequences and
indignities. * Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of The Animal Manifesto *
Paul Waldau infuses complex ideas with a sense of heart and soul, inviting the reader to open him or herself to introspection, appealing to the reader to not only consider a concept, but also to apply it to one's life and culture. This book does much to renew my sense of hope that human beings have the capacity to expand their conscious embrace of our planet and the many other precious life forms inhabiting it. * Joyce Tischler, Founder and General Counsel, Animal Legal Defense Fund *
For Waldau, animals' own reality is important, not humans' view of them or human-centered use of them. He draws on the intellectual approach and the historical contribution of many different areas, from science to the creative arts, philosophy, and areas such as anthropology and geography... The result is a useful summary... Recommended. * CHOICE *