In a web-exclusive review for Prospect this week, actor and writer Alexander Fiske-Harrison returns to the fertile topic of animal psychology and ethics that he explored in his much-noted essay for Prospect on bullfighting (a piece which sparked one of the most in-depth discussions ever to feature on this blog). This time, the mammal in question is a wolf, and the book under review is The Philosopher and the Wolf, by philosopher Mark Rowlands. During his time teaching in America, Rowlands became the owner of a pure-blooded wolf, and the book tells the story of how he raised it as his companion; and how the experience transformed his understanding of the divide between humans and animals. The book, Fiske-Harrison argues, is both illuminating and a missed opportunity; a provocative but ultimately self-subverting testament to the uniquely human qualities of empathy, compassion and invention. As ever, let us know your own thoughts and views here.
On philosophers and wolves
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