Brooks is right to insist that emotional ties, social interaction and the communal transmission of norms are essential in forming individuals for a decent life, and that habit, perception and instinct form a large part of the individual character. But there is moral and intellectual laziness in his sentimental devaluation of conscious reasoning, which is what we have to rely on when our emotions or our inherited norms give unclear or poorly grounded instructions.
The Leaders of Animal Farm start off with good intentions but as the story goes on it becomes obvious the leaders have grown power-hungry and have become the ‘superior’ animals, showing that equality does not exist.
This is clearly proven by the actions of the pigs in the Animal Farm.
Still, even if empirical methods enable us to understand subrational processes better, the crucial question is, How are we to use this kind of self-understanding? Brooks emphasizes the ways in which it can improve our prediction and control of what people will do, but I am asking something different. When we discover an unacknowledged influence on our conduct, what should be our critical response? About this question Brooks has essentially nothing to say. He gives lip-service to the idea that moral sentiments are subject to conscious review and improvement, and that reason has a role to play, but when he tries to explain what this means, he is reduced to a fashionable bromide about choosing the narrative we tell about our lives, “the narrative we will use to organize perceptions.”
The book I am reading is entitled Animal Farm.
Crawford, S.M. (2012). Improving the attitudes and behavior of stockpersons toward pigs and the subsequent influence on animal behavior and production characteristics of commercial finishing pigs in Ohio. Ph.D. Thesis, The Ohio State University, Columbus.
The animals were victorious in gaining control of the farm.
Engel, J. (2008). The human – animal relationship and its effects on the behaviour and welfare of laying hens. Masters thesis, The Ohio State University.
The barn animals were fed up with the way Mr.
Each year four Wageningen University & Research students are awarded a prize for their thesis’ level of excellence by the University Fund Wageningen and KLV. One prize is awarded per education domain. The four domains are: Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Agrotechnology and Food Sciences.
Led by the pigs, the farm animals continue to do their work.
Mark Suchyta is a doctoral student studying Sociology, specializing in Animal Studies and Environmental Science and Policy. He holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Michigan and an MS in Rural Sociology from Penn State University. His research interests revolve around environmental attitudes, behaviors, and how to create platforms for public participation in environmental decision-making. Much of his previous work has focused on communities experiencing natural gas development. At MSU, he plans to pursue his interest in public attitudes about industrial animal agriculture and the social movements and policies that have come about as a result. When he’s not busy with his studies, he enjoys spending time with his birds.
Propaganda is a central element to the plot of Animal Farm.
“Many of the first readers of Orwell’s little masterpiece apparently did not realize that it was brilliant work of political satire” (Rooden, Appreciating Animal Farm in the New Millennium)....