Past event

Public lecture by Professor Peter Adamson (Senior Global Fellow) 'The Beast Within: Animal and Human Nature in Greek and Arabic Philosophy'

It's commonly assumed that philosophers before Darwin assumed that a vast gulf separated humans from non-human animals, recognising the former but not the latter as rational and as having moral worth. This lecture will look at texts from the Islamic world that tell a different story. They argue for showing benevolence towards animals, draw extensive parallels between human cognition and animal cognition, and even suggest that animals may be “rational” too, and able to enjoy an afterlife. These ideas also make for an interesting comparison and contrast with contemporary philosophical ideas about animal minds and animal ethics.

Peter Adamson is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU in Munich. His main specialty is the reception of Greek philosophy in the Islamic world, and in this area he has written many articles and three monographs. He has also edited and co-edited numerous books, including volumes for Cambridge University Press, the Warburg Institute, and the Institute of Classical Studies. He is the author of the book series History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, published by Oxford University Press.

This is a hybrid event. All welcome.

Please join us in person, in School III, St Salvator's Quad. If you want to join us online instead, please sign up to get the MS Teams meeting link by emailing [email protected].