Dr. Jekyll would not be famous were it not for his connection with Mr. Hyde. Perhaps one reason that Peter Singer’s name is well known, both to students of philosophy and to lay people, is that he is a Jekyll-and-Hyde kind of person.
As Dr. Jekyll, Singer is a leading figure in the campaign against cruelty to animals. Qua Mr. Hyde, he insists that there is nothing wrong with killing human infants if they are either (a) severely deformed or brain-damaged or (b) simply not wanted by parents or adopters.
As Dr. Jekyll, Singer deplores the despoliation of Planet Earth. Qua Mr. Hyde, he has no wish to condemn governments that control their human populations by encouraging abortion and infanticide.
As Dr. Jekyll, Singer discovered that he would rather spend money on nursing care for his aged mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, than on the...