Some have called Peter Singer the “world’s most influential living philosopher,” and he’s probably best known for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals. Singer is often credited with starting the modern animal rights movement with his 1975 book, Animal Liberation. He is also the founder of The Life You Can Save, a philanthropic organization based on his more recent book of the same name. In the book, Singer argues that we should be all doing much more to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty.
Singer was born Melbourne, Australia, and educated at the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford. After teaching in Australia, England, and the United States, he became Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.
Paleoanthropologist Pat Shipman teaches at Penn State University, and is an internationally-recognized expert in taphonomy, the study of how living animals are transformed into skeletons, and then fossils. Her research attempts to reconstruct the ecology of ancient environments from the preserved remains of our early ancestors.
Her recent book, The Invaders, presents her theories about how early humans competed for resources with Neanderthals, and quickly overwhelmed them. Shipman believes that one of the “secret weapons” early humans used was the first domesticated wolf-dogs.
Pat Shipman and Peter Singer both recently visited Bloomington as part of Indiana University’s Themester 2018, which focuses on the interaction between human and non-human animals. They spoke with WFIU’s Will Murphy.