Skip navigation
Hardcover | $87.50 Short | £60.95 | ISBN: 9780262161787 | 441 pp. | 6 x 9 in | | November 1998
Paperback | $35.00 Short | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780262661218 | 441 pp. | 6 x 9 in | | January 2001
Ebook | $24.95 Short | ISBN: 9780262253123 | 441 pp. | 6 x 9 in | | November 1998
About MIT Press Ebooks

Darwinian Dominion

Animal Welfare and Human Interests


The controversial subject of this book is the permissible use of animals by humans. Lewis Petrinovich argues that humans have a set of cognitive abilities, developing from a suite of emotional attachments, that make them unique among species. Although other animals can think, suffer, and have needs, the interests of members of the human species should triumph over comparable interests of members of other species.

This book is the third in a trilogy concerned with the morality of various actions that affect the birth, life, and death of organisms. Using principles of moral philosophy, biology, evolutionary theory, neurophysiology, medicine, and cognitive science, Petrinovich discusses such topics as fetal and prenatal development, development of the mind and brain, animal liberation, morality and animal research, the eating of animals, keeping animals in zoos and as pets, and the importance of biodiversity. In the epilogue, he summarizes the main issues and discusses the moral principles governing their resolution.

About the Author

Lewis Petrinovich is Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of Human Evolution, Reproduction, and Morality and Living and Dying Well (MIT Press, 1998).


"Powerfully argued and very well written.... an outstanding contribution to a difficult debate."—Patrick Bateson, Professor of Ethology, University of Cambridge, and Provost, King's College, Cambridge

"The author brings together a deep, sensitive knowledge of contemporary evolutionary theory and the social sciences, particularly as they interact with human biology. You may not agree with everything that he concludes, but my strong suspicion is that even as you argue with Petrinovich, you will learn and revise your own opinions. Highly recommended!"—Michael Ruse, Departments of Philosophy and Zoology, University of Guelph