Synopses & Reviews
A compelling and revolutionary work that calls for the immediate extension of our human rights to the great apes.
The Great Ape Project looks forward to a new stage in the development of the community of equals, whereby the great apes-chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans-will actually receive many of the same protections and rights that are already accorded to humans.
This profound collection of thirty-one essays by the world's most distinguished observers of free-living apes make up a uniquely satisfying whole, blending observation and interpretation in a highly persuasive case for a complete reassessment of the moral status of our closest kin.
"We share over 99% of our active genes with chimpanzees and gorillas. The Great Ape Project
casts a disturbing light on how we have treated our closest relative. It challenges us to reassess many of our ethical assumptions." --Carl Sagan, coauthor of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
"A powerful work of moral vision that manages to maintain a balance between logic and passion." --The Washington Post Book World (front page)
"A thoroughly engaging collection of polemics and reflections." --San Francisco Chronicle
"This book may prove to be one of the most subversive published in English this year." --The Independent
"What the contributors to The Great Ape Project remind us that our nearest cousins on the evolutionary tree...can suffer in ways very much like the ways in which we suffer...We can damage them in the way we damage human beings." --Alan Ryan, Professor of Politics, Princeton University
This collection of thirty-one essays by the world's most distinguished observers of free-living apes make up a uniquely satisfying whole, blending observation and interpretation in a highly persuasive case for a complete reassessment of the moral status of our closest kin.
Includes bibliographical references.
About the Author
is the editor of the Milan-based quarterly review Etica e Animali.
Peter Singer, the renowned philosopher and bioethicist, is the author of Animal Liberation, the classic work that helped launch the modern Animal Rights movement. He teaches at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Table of Contents
A Declaration on Great Apes
I Encounters with Free-living Apes
"Chimpanzees—Bridging the Gap" by Jane Goodall
"Meeting a Gorilla" by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
"Chimpanzees Are Always New to Me" by Toshisada Nishida
II Conversations with Apes
"Chimpanzees' Use of Sign Language" by Roger S. Fouts and Deborah H. Fouts
"Language and the Orang-utan: The Old 'Person' of the Forest" by H. Lyn White Miles
"The Case for the Personhood of Gorillas" by Francine Patterson and Wendy Gordon
III Similarity and Difference
"Gaps in the Mind" by Richard Dawkins
"The Third Chimpanzee" by Jared Diamond
"Common Sense, Cognitive Ethology and Evolution" by Marc Bekoff
"What's in a Classification?" by R.I.M. Dunbar
"Apes and the Idea of Kindrid" by Stephen R. L. Clark
"Ambiguous Apes" by Raymond Corbey
"Spirits Dressed in Furs?" by Adriaan Kortlandt
"Apes, Humans, Aliens, Vampires and Robots" by Colin McGinn
"Why Darwinians Should Support Equal Treatment for Other Apes" by James Rachels
"Profoudly Intellectually Disabled Humans and the Great Apes: A Comparison" by Christoph Anstötz
"Who's Like Us?" by Heta Häyry and Matti Häyry
"A Basis for (Interspecies) Equality" by Ingmar Persson
"Ill-gotten Gains" by Tom Regan
"The Ascent of Apes—Broadening the Moral Community" by Bernard E. Rollin
"Sentientism" by Richard D. Ryder
"Great Apes and the Human Resistance to Equality" by Dale Jamison
V Apes as Persons
"The Wahokies" by Harlan B. Miller
"Humans, Nonhumans and Personhood" by Robert W. Mitchell
"Personhood, Property and Legal Competence" by Gary L. Francione
"Great Apes as Anthropological Subjects—Deconstructing Anthropocentrism" by Barbara Noske
"Aping Persons—Pro and Con" by Steve F. Sapontzis
"Items of Property" by David Cantor
"The Chimp Farm" by Betsy Swart
"They Are Us" by Geza Teleki
"The Great Ape Project—and Beyond" by Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer