Animals in Greek and Roman Thought: A Sourcebook by Stephen T. Newmyer

By Stephen T. Newmyer

Even though reasoned discourse on human-animal kinfolk is frequently thought of a overdue twentieth-century phenomenon, moral debate over animals and the way people may still deal with them will be traced again to the philosophers and literati of the classical international. From Stoic assertions that people owe not anything to animals which are intellectually overseas to them, to Plutarch's impassioned arguments for animals as sentient and rational beings, it's transparent that sleek debate owes a lot to Greco-Roman thought.
Animals in Greek and Roman inspiration brings jointly new translations of classical passages which contributed to historic debate at the nature of animals and their dating to humans. the decisions selected come basically from philosophical and normal historic works, in addition to spiritual, poetic and biographical works. The questions mentioned comprise: Do animals vary from people intellectually? have been animals created for using humankind? should still animals be used for nutrition, recreation, or sacrifice? Can animals be our friends?
The choices are prepared thematically and, inside of issues, chronologically. A observation precedes every one excerpt, transliterations of Greek and Latin technical phrases are supplied, and every access contains bibliographic feedback for extra reading.

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Manichean holymen were vegetarians, but the lower levels of adherents were permitted to consume meat if they had not themselves slain the animals. Since the Manicheans seem to have believed that plants contain more light than do animals, it is sometimes maintained that they valued plants more highly than animals that have a clearer origin in the world of darkness. Augustine appears here to have more interest in Manichean attitudes toward animals than toward plants, judging from his Stoicinspired argument against rationality in animals, but it is interesting to note that the passage incorporates an instance of a slide argument, according to which one will be compelled to spare animals if one spares the lives of plants.

Renehan, Robert, “The Greek Anthropocentric View of Man,” HSCPh 85 (1981) 239–259. Renehan offers a helpful introduction, with extensive citations from classical texts, to the idea, frequently voiced in Aristotle, that man alone of animals possesses particular talents and skills, a notion that Renehan considers a manifestation of a strong current of anthropocentrism in classical thought on animals. Solmsen, Friedrich, “Antecedents of Aristotle’s Psychology and Scale of Beings,” AJPh 76 (1955) 148–164.

Preus examines Porphyry’s ecological arguments, including his belief that animals will self-regulate their numbers and contribute naturally to the balance of nature if left alone. 10. Augustine Gilhus, Ingvild, Animals, Gods and Humans: Changing Attitudes to Animals in Greek, Roman and Early Christian Ideas (Oxford: Routledge, 2006) 258–260. Gilhus offers a detailed discussion of the place of plants and animals in the Manichean scheme of the universe. Sorabji, Animal Minds and Human Morals 102–113, 195–198.

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