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Lewis Petrinovich

Lewis Petrinovich is Professor of Psychology Emeritus at theUniversity of California, Riverside. He is the author of HumanEvolution, Reproduction, and Morality and Living and DyingWell (MIT Press, 1998).

Titles by This Author

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.


In the first volume of his ambitious trilogy, Petrinovich brings concepts from evolutionary biology, neurophysiology, and cognitive science to bear on such controversial issues as contraception, abortion, infanticide, new reproductive technologies, and fetal tissues research. Although he bases the discussion on extensive scholarly research, he does not hesitate to take a strong position on moral issues.

(Published in cloth by Plenum Press, 1995)



In the second volume of his trilogy, Petrinovich presents a detailed account of the dilemmas that humans in technologically advanced societies face when confronted by matters of life, death, and medical treatment. The issues he discusses include genetic screening, the Human Genome Project, criteria for defining death, organ donation and transplantation, and assisted suicide and euthanasia. Petrinovich also discusses healthcare policy issues such as the allocation of scarce medical resources and rationing. He argues for adequate health care as a fundamental moral necessity and makes a number of policy recommendations.

(Published in cloth by Plenum Press, 1996)