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Fellow Examines Animal Suffering in Philosophy and Culture

20th August 2012

Centre Fellow Professor Elisa Aaltola has published a new book which explores animal suffering in Western philosophy and contemporary culture.

Today’s culture is ambivalent in its attitudes toward non-human animals: on the one hand, many speak of the importance of “animal welfare”, and on the other, billions of animals each year are treated as little more than units of production.

Published this month, Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture seeks to explore the meaning of animal suffering in Western intellectual culture.

It investigates themes such as animal welfare and suffering in practice, scepticism concerning the human ability to understand non-human suffering, the cultural and philosophical roots of compassion, and contemporary approaches to animal ethics. At its centre is the pivotal question: what is the moral significance of animal suffering? The key approach advocated is “intersubjectivity”, via which the suffering of other animals can be understood in a fresh light.

Dr Elisa Aaltola has worked as a Research Fellow and an Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, and currently holds the post of Senior Lecturer in Philosophy in the University of Eastern Finland and is an Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Animal and Environmental Ethics in the University of Turku.

Further information about the book can be found here. The book is one of ten texts recently published by Palgrave Macmillan in partnership with the Centre as part of the ground breaking Series on Animal Ethics, see here.