Non-Human Life and the Boundaries of Community

  • H. Peter Steeves
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 143)


Once upon a time a young man was walking through the woods on his way home from the market. In his pack he carried vegetables, fruits, and bread for his family. Wandering down the path and approaching a clearing, he happened to smell smoke. A quick investigation uncovered a bush overcome by low flames that were growing higher, and from the middle of the bush an adder called out for assistance. Tying one of the bread sacks to his staff and reaching it into the flames, the young man called to the adder to slip inside the sack and be lifted to safety. The adder complied and was saved. Away from danger the adder expressed his happiness and explained that some travelers had kindled the fire a few minutes before. The young man, pleased with himself after saving the adder and then putting out the fire, prepared to go on his way and suggested that the adder go in peace now and no longer harm men since he owed his life to a man’s kindness. The adder, though, turned to strike him.


Human Community Animal Community Moral Standing Infinite Regress Whooping Crane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Peter Steeves
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State UniversityFresnoUSA

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