Animal Minds, Animal Souls, Animal Rights explores the thinking of philosophers and theologians about controversies concerning animal consciousness and animal rights. The book presents Bernard Lonergan's theory about consciousness and the operations of the mind-a theory about two types of knowing and desiring: one shared by humans and animals, and the other, which depends on the activity of asking questions, possessed by humans alone. The author tests this theory against present-day research with apes, and examines religious claims, historical and current, about animals. Animal Minds, Animal Souls, Animal Rights concludes by laying a philosophical and theological foundation for a contemporary ethic in which humans are obligated to exercise intelligent stewardship and ensure the compassionate treatment of animals.
To have someone as well acquainted with biomedical research as James Parker guide us through the thought of animal rights philosophers is a great service....it is an even greater service to have his summary of a theory of consciousness and cognition that grounds our responsibility to treat animals with respect and compassion.--Victor Lukas D.V.M., vis, diplomate, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, attending veterinarian, University of California Davis