Dependent relationships and the moral standing of nonhuman animals

Ethics and the Environment 13 (2):pp. 1-21 (2008)
Abstract
This essay explores whether dependent relationships might justify extending direct moral consideration to nonhuman animals. After setting out a formal conception of moral standing as relational, scalar, and unilateral, I consider whether and how an appeal to dependencies might be the basis for an animal’s moral standing. If dependencies generate reasons for extending direct moral consideration, such reasons will admit of significant variations in scope and stringency.
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Andrew Brennan, Environmental Ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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