Here is a nice review of the book:
“Since neither a newborn human infant nor a fish is a person, the wrongness of killing such beings is not as great as the wrongness of killing a person.”Read on for the rest of the review
“…regarding a newborn infant as not having the same right to life as a person, the cultures that practiced infanticide were on solid ground.”
These are two of four quotes from philosopher Peter Singer that were featured in a quarter-page ad in the Australian newspaper during the 1996 federal election. The Australian Family Association took out the ad because Peter Singer was running as a Green Senate candidate. Fortunately for the unborn, the newborn, the elderly and many other “non-persons”, Singer received only a tiny fraction of the vote.
He now teaches at Princeton University, after a long career at Melbourne’s Monash University. He has written over twenty books, and is regarded as a leading contemporary philosopher and bioethicist. He is famous for his advocacy of animal liberation, as well as for his callous view of human life.
This new book, edited by an ethicist at Melbourne’s Ridley College, contains five important articles offering a critical assessment of Singer’s philosophy and writings.
After an incisive introduction, Preece offers a close look at the man and his work in chapter one. While recognising the relative consistency throughout his writings, he points out the well-known inconsistency of his regard for his mother has she wrestled with Alzheimer’s disease. He rightly notes that on the basis of Singer’s utilitarian and consequentialist outlook, he should have bumped off his own mother. But fortunately for his mother, “Singer is a better son and person than ethicist”.