Philosophical Society of Washington

Animal Communication and Awareness:
From Ethology to Bioethics

Michael W. Fox
Humane Society of the United States

2145th Meeting Abstract
Friday, April 12, 2002 at 8:15 PM


Ethology, the study of animal behavior, is a phenomenological science of the subjective that provides a window into the animal mind. Ethological studies will be reviewed concerning animal emotions, communication, and the biological basis for ethical behavior.

The presentation, which will include slides, links the evolution of empathy and altruistic behavior in humans and other animals with the emergence of morality and the human imperative to develop a global bioethics.

About the Author:

Dr. Fox has authored over 40 books and for the last 25 years has written a nationwide syndicated newspaper column, “Ask Your Animal Doctor,” enjoying a weekly readership estimated at 12 million. He has produced numerous publications and developed several technical research programs that applied scientific methods to the investigation of the many uses of animals, notably laboratory, companion, and farm animals. He is also a consulting veterinarian and bioethicist, and gives lectures, seminars and presentations both in the U.S. and abroad on a variety of topics related to animal welfare, behavior, conservation, and bioethics.

Dr. Fox has a veterinary degree from London's Royal Veterinary College, and a PhD in medicine and a DSc in ethology/animal behavior, both from London University, England. He is profiled in Who's Who in America and in Who's Who in the World. His latest book is Beyond Evolution: The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth, and Humans (1999, The Lyons Press, New York). Dr. Fox serves as Senior Scholar, Bioethics, for the Humane Society of the United States, Washington, DC.

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