David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 22 (1-4):3 – 22 (1979)
The debate over whether human animals are linked by bonds of justice to nonhu-man animals is ancient and has been several times settled. The Roman jurists defined the j us naturae in terms of what nature had taught 'all animals', but Grotius and other natural-law theorists rejected this view and redefined the jus naturae as that which accorded with human nature, thereby founding the 'modern' view which has excluded nonhuman animals from the sphere of justice. This paper examines Grotius's argument as part of a larger seventeenth-century 'counter-revolution' in thought and argues that its incoherence becomes intelligible only when viewed as an attempt to deal with the embarrassing phenomenon of inhumane warfare. Warned by the example of Grotius, we may wish to inquire to what extent any discussion of animal justice, whatever side it takes, may be an exercise in the perpetration of injustice
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