David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 13 (2):177-196 (1988)
In research employing animals we commonly do things to them which would be grossly immoral to do to humans. This paper discusses three possible justifications for so treating animals: (a) it is violating the autonomy of rational beings which makes actions immoral, and animals are not autonomous; (b) due to our participation in the human community, we have special obligations to humans that we do not have to animals; and (c) human life is morally more worthy than animal life. The conclusion of this discussion is that none of these three propositions justifies the routine sacrifice of animal interests for human benefit. Particular attention is paid to the idea that human life is morally more worthy than animal life, because I believe that to be the most common justification for our sacrifice of animal interests in research. The claim of greater worth is considered and criticized from both utilitarian and Kantian perspectives, and the inference from superior worth to being entitled to exploit one's inferiors is also criticized. The paper concludes by recommending a governing principle for research with animals which would bring that research into line with the rejection of hierarchical worldviews, social orders, and value systems which characterizes modern moral progress. Keywords: animal rights, animal research, moral worth, moral superiority, moral community, fairness CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Claire Molloy (2011). Popular Media and Animals. Palgrave Macmillan.
Marna A. Owen (2009). Animal Rights: Noble Cause or Needless Effort? Twenty-First Century Books.
Hon-Lam Li (2002). Animal Research, Non-Vegetarianism, and the Moral Status of Animals - Understanding the Impasse of the Animal Rights Problem. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (5):589 – 615.
Susan Finsen (1988). Sinking the Research Lifeboat. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 13 (2):197-212.
Rebecca L. Walker (2006). Human and Animal Subjects of Research: The Moral Significance of Respect Versus Welfare. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (4):305-331.
Tom Regan (1997). The Rights of Humans and Other Animals. Ethics and Behavior 7 (2):103 – 111.
Robert Bass (2012). Lives in the Balance: Utilitarianism and Animal Research. In Jeremy Garrett (ed.), The Ethics of Animal Research: Exploring the Controversy. MIT Press.
Kelly Oliver (2010). Animal Ethics: Toward an Ethics of Responsiveness. Research in Phenomenology 40 (2):267-280.
Hugh LaFollette & Niall Shanks (1995). Util-Izing Animals. Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (1):13-25.
Added to index2010-08-19
Total downloads37 ( #44,262 of 1,096,566 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #14,457 of 1,096,566 )
How can I increase my downloads?