Despite the renewed interest in Aristotle’s Generation of Animals in recent years, the subject matter of GA V, its preferred mode(s) of explanation, and its place in the treatise as a whole remain misunderstood. Scholars focus on GA I-IV, which explain animal generation in terms of efficient-final causation, but dismiss GA V as a mere appendix, thinking it to concern (a) individual, accidental differences among animals, which are (b) purely materially necessitated, and (c) are only tangentially related to the topics (...) discussed in the earlier books. In this paper, we defend an alternative and more integrated account of GA V by closely examining Aristotle’s methodological introduction in GA V.1 778a16-b19 and his teleological explanation of the differences of teeth in GA V.8. We argue for the unity of both GA V and of GA as a whole and present a more nuanced theory of teleological explanation in Aristotle’s biology. (shrink)
Drawing upon Husserl and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological constitution of the Other through Einfülhung, I argue that the hierarchical distinction between higher and lower animals – which has been dismissed by Heidegger for being anthropocentric – must not be conceived as an objective distinction between “primitive” animals and “more evolved” ones, but rather corresponds to a phenomenological distinction between familiar and unfamiliar animals.
Zoos and animal rights seem utterly opposed to each other. In this controversial and timely book, Stephen Bostock argues that they can develop a more harmonious relationship. He examines the diverse ethical and technical issues involved, including human cruelty, human domination over animals, the well-being of wild animals outside their natural habitat, and the nature of wild and domestic animals. In his analysis, Bostock draws attention to the areas which give rise to misconceptions. This book explores the long history of (...) zoos, as well as current philosophical debates, to argue for a conservational view of their role in the modern world. Anyone concerned with humanity's relationship with other animals and the natural world will find this to be thought-provoking and rewarding reading. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum has expanded the capabilities approach to defend positive duties of justice to individuals who fall below Rawls’ standard for fully cooperating members of society, including sentient nonhuman animals. Building on this, David Schlosberg has defended the extension of capabilities justice not only to individual animals but also to entire species and ecosystems. This is an attractive vision: a happy marriage of social, environmental and ecological justice, which also respects the claims of individual animals. This paper asks whether it (...) is one that the capabilities approach can really deliver. Serious obstacles are highlighted. The potential for conflict between the capability-based entitlements of humans and those of nonhuman animals or ‘nature’ is noted, but it is argued that this does not constitute a decisive objection to the expanded capabilities approach. However, intra-nature conflicts are so widespread as to do so: the situation is outside the circumstances of justice as they are standardly understood. Schlosberg attempts to reconcile such conflicts by re-examining what it means to flourish as a sentient nonhuman animal. This fails, because of the distinction between flourishing as a species, which often requires predation, and flourishing as an individual, which is as frequently incompatible with it. Finally, the paper considers how a capabilities theorist might move beyond such conflicts, identifying two possible strategies (which are not themselves unproblematic) for reconciling the demands of humans, animals and ecosystems. (shrink)
It has been argued that only moral agents can have preference-interests and this therefore excludes animals. I will present two objections to this argument. The first will show that moral agency is not necessary to have preference-interests. The second will assert that the argument that animals cannot have preference-interests has unwelcome consequences.
Some philosophers have argued that moral agency is characteristic of humans alone and that its absence from other animals justifies granting higher moral status to humans. However, human beings do not have a monopoly on moral agency, which admits of varying degrees and does not require mastery of moral principles. The view that all and only humans possess moral agency indicates our underestimation of the mental lives of other animals. Since many other animals are moral agents (to varying degrees), they (...) are also subject to (limited) moral obligations, examples of which are provided in this paper. But, while moral agency is sufficient for significant moral status, it is by no means necessary. (shrink)
In Kant’s moral theory, we do not have duties to animals, though we have duties with regard to them. I reconstruct Kant’s arguments for several types of duties with regard to animals and show that Kant’s theory imposes far more robust requirements on our treatment of animals than one would expect. Kant’s duties regarding animals are perfect and imperfect; they are primarily but not exclusively duties to oneself; and they condemn not merely cruelty to animals for its own sake, but (...) also, such things as killing them for food when our health does not require it and ingratitude to service animals. Central to understanding these duties is appreciating Kant’s concern for our morally useful emotions, for it is primarily because of the effect that cruelty to animals has on our sympathetic emotions—which greatly help us treat other rational beings appropriately—that we have duties not to be cruel to animals. Yet cruelty and callousness toward animals are not problematic only because they may weaken some of our morally useful emotions. Cruelty and callousness toward animals are problematic also because they oppose our morally useful emotions; these emotions, as part of the perfection of our nature, should be honored, supported, and furthered, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so in particular cases. (shrink)
Genetic engineering evokes a number of objections that are not directed at the negative effects the technique might have on the health and welfare of the modified animals. The concept of animal integrity is often invoked to articulate these kind of objections. Moreover, in reaction to the advent of genetic engineering, the concept has been extended from the level of the individual animal to the level of the genome and of the species. However, the concept of animal integrity was not (...) developed in the context of genetic engineering. Given this external origin, the aim of this paper is to critically examine the assumption that the concept of integrity, including its extensions to the level of the genome and the species, is suitable to articulate and justify moral objections more specifically directed at the genetic engineering of animals. (shrink)
In this paper, I assess Martha Nussbaum's application of the capabilities approach to non-human animals for both its philosophical merits and its potential to affect public policy. I argue that there are currently three main philosophical problems with the theory that need further attention. After discussing these problems, I show how focusing on factory farming would enable Nussbaum to demonstrate the philosophical merits of the capabilities approach as well as to suggest more powerful and effectives changes in our public policies.
This essay critically evaluates the theodicies of John Hick, Richard Swinburne and process theism regarding animal suffering and evils. Their positions on animals are found to be flawed and/or inadequate because they cannot explain the mass suffering and unnecessary deaths to animals throughout time. I also offer a positive contribution. That is, God’s putative love for all humans and animals does not entail that he loves every single human and animal. It is very possible that God treats humans and animals (...) similarly in regard to evils. This theory partly explains human tragedies such as the Holocaust and much unnecessary animal and human suffering. (shrink)
This essay traces the history of Jacques Derrida's engagement with the question of the animal and the methodology Derrida follows in his 2008 The Animal That Therefore I Am . As Derrida demonstrates, the history of philosophy is marked from its inception by an attempt to draw a single, indivisible line between humans and all other animals by attributing some capacity to humans (e.g., language, culture, mourning, a relationship to death) and denying it to animals. Derrida thus begins by questioning (...) the supposed fact that animals do not have such and such a capacity or attribute but then quickly turns to questioning the principle by which philosophers have claimed that humans do . In all his work on the animal, therefore, Derrida questions the confidence with which humans attribute certain capacities to themselves while denying them to animals, all in the name of a pervasive and yet repressed violence against the animal world. (shrink)
[Book chapter for _Beastly Morality_ (Jonathan Crane, ed.,) currently under consideration] This essay distinguishes between honor-typical and authoritarian behavior in humans and animals. Whereas authoritarianism concerns hierarchies coordinated by control and obedience, honor concerns rankings of prestige determined by fair contests. Honor-typical behavior is identifiable in non-human species, and is to be expected in polygynous species with non-resource-based mating systems. This picture lends further support to an increasingly popular psychological theory that sees morality as constituted by a variety of moral (...) systems. If moral cognition is pluralistic in this way, then the question of moral agency is better considered in terms of particular moral modes, one of which will be “honor-agency.” The universal principles of honorable conduct suggest a handful of criteria for counting as an honorable agent (human or otherwise), and these criteria can be specified without commitment to any particular account of what it takes to be an agent in general. (shrink)
Such activities as tracking, watching, and photographing animals are frequently presented as morally superior alternatives to hunting, but could they themselves be morally problematic? In this paper I argue that, despite certain differences from the stalking of humans, a strong case can be made for the prima facie wrongness of stalking sentient animals. The chief harm of stalking is the fear and altered patterns of behavior which it forces upon its victims.
This article seeks to revisit the relationship between Rawls’s contractarianism and the moral status of animals, paying particular attention to the recent literature. Despite Rawls’s own reluctance to include animals as recipients of justice, and my own initial scepticism, a number of scholars have argued that his theory does provide resources that are useful for the animal advocate. The first type takes Rawls’s exclusion of animals from his theory of justice at face value but argues that animals can still be (...) protected within a moral realm independently of justice, or indirectly through the motivations of human contractors. The second type adapts his theory in a way that enables animals to be included within a contractarian theory of justice. It is argued, though, that none of the responses offered is successful in providing a sphere of protection for animals from within Rawls’s contractarian theory. It is doubtful if Rawls’s intention was for animals to receive a significant degree of protection within a moral realm independently of justice, and equally doubtful if the contractors in the original position would be motivated to act on behalf of animals. In the case of the second, whilst Rawlsian resources can be utilised to justify the attempt to amend the veil of ignorance so as to include animals, these are not dependent on a contractural agreement. Similarly, placing emphasis on social-co-operation as a means of incorporating animals into a theory of justice is flawed, not least because, paradoxically, it works for domesticated animals whilst they are being exploited. (shrink)
Can material Egalitarianism (requiring, for example, the significant promotion of fortune) include animals in the domain of the equality requirement? The problem can be illustrated as follows: If equality of wellbeing is what matters, and normal mice are included in this egalitarian requirement, then normal mice have a much stronger claim to resources than almost any human. This is because normal mice have a much stronger claim to resources than almost any human. This is because their wellbeing is much lower (...) than that of normal humans. Thus, equality of wellbeing requires a massive shift of resources away from most humans to mice. This view, however, seems crazy. I explore this problem and propose a solution. (shrink)
This paper outlines the moral contours of human relationships with companion animals. The paper details three sources of duties to and regarding companion animals: (1) from the animal’s status as property, (2) from the animal’s position in relationships of care, love, and dependency, and (3) from the animal’s status as a sentient being with a good of its own. These three sources of duties supplement one another and not only differentiate relationships with companion animals from wild animals and other categories (...) of domestic animals such as livestock, but they also overlap to provide moral agents with additional reasons for preventing and avoiding harm to companion animals. The paper concludes that not only do owners and bystanders have direct and indirect duties to protect companion animals from harm, but also that these duties have the potential, in some circumstances, to clash with duties owed to the state and fellow citizens. (shrink)
Citizen petitions and legislative bills in seven states in the US have established space and movement limitations for selected species of farm animals. These actions show Americans becoming concerned about the humane treatment of confined farm animals, and willing to use governmental intervention to preclude existing confinement practices. The individual state provisions vary, including the coverage of species. All seven states deal with sow-gestation crates, five states address veal calf crates, and two states’ provisions also apply to battery cages used (...) for egg-laying hens. The actions show citizen and legislative opposition to current animal production practices, and suggest a movement to provide better treatment for farm animals. Accompanying the actions are challenges for animal production industries in remaining competitive while meeting social expectations on the ethical treatment of food animals. While the actions are only a small step in addressing welfare issues, they may be the beginning of a significant movement to do more to address human and animal welfare issues. (shrink)
The term moral considerability refers to the question of whether a being or set of beings is worthy of moral consideration. Moral considerability is most readily afforded to those beings that demonstrate the clearest relationship to rational humans, though many have also argued for and against the moral considerability of species, ecosystems, and “lesser” animals. Among these arguments there are at least two positions: “environmentalist” positions that tend to emphasize the systemic relations between species, and “liberationist” positions that tend to (...) emphasize the attributes or welfare of a particular individual organism. Already, this classic conflict provides for some challenging theoretical clashes between environmentalists and animal liberationists. The question of moral considerability is complicated, however, by recent developments in genetic engineering. Some animals, like pigs and fish, have been genetically modified by humans to grow organs that can then be transplanted into humans. If environmental arguments for the moral consideration of species are correct, then we are released from our obligations to morally consider those animals that we have genetically modified, since they are by their nature always an “invader species.” If, instead, the welfare of the animal is of penultimate importance, then there is a case for strengthening the moral considerability of GM animals over “naturally-occurring” animals, since they bear a closer relationship to humans. This would appear to be an intractable problem, a “bad marriage,” as Mark Sagoff once proposed. This paper argues that the case of invasive transgenic animals exposes weaknesses in this classic conflict, and particularly, in the framing of this conflict. To remedy this framing problem, this paper argues for a reconceptualization of the term “moral considerability,” instead urging a strong distinction between moral considerability, moral relevance, and moral significance. (shrink)
The question of the imperatives induced by the Gandhian concept of non-violence towards animals is an issue that has been neglected by specialists on the thinking of the Mahatma. The aim of this article is to highlight the systematic – and significant – character of this particular aspect of his views on non-violence. The first part introduces the theoretical foundations of the duty of non-violence towards animals in general. Gandhi's critical interpretation of cow-protection, advocated by Hinduism, leads to a general (...) reflection on the duty of non-violence towards animals, the cow being transformed into the representative of all dumb creation. The approach adopted by Gandhi to solving the problem of cow-protection focuses on its practical dimensions and is based primarily on reforming animal husbandry. What limits should be imposed on the exploitation of farm animals within the framework of non-violence? Gandhi devoted nearly 30 years to elaborating an animal husbandry system that would be both economically viable and in conformity with the universal ethical principles he drew from religions (especially Hinduism). The interdiction to kill is absolute, since Gandhi not only rejects the breeding of farm animals for the purposes of butchery but also the slaughtering of animals that are no longer capable of providing the services required of them. He therefore concentrated his efforts on drawing up a scheme to reorganize this activity on a national scale while taking into consideration these constraints, which are less contradictory than they may seem to be at first sight. Reviewing the age-old activity of animal husbandry in the light of non-violence is clearly based on the specific nature of Hindu traditions. However, it goes far beyond cultural or religious relativism, since it is also founded on universal ethical principles. (shrink)
When the human understanding of beasts in the past is studied, what are revealed is not only the foundations of our own perception of animals, but humans contemplating their own status. This book argues that what is revealed in a wide range of writing from the early modern period is a recurring attempt to separate the human from the beast. Looking at the representation of the animal in the law, religious writings, literary representation, science and political ideas, what emerges is (...) a sense of the fragility of humanity, a sense of a species which always requires an external addition--property, civilization, education--to be fully human. (shrink)
The paper deals with partiality flowing from special relationships. Two main problems are discussed. The first concerns the relationship between partiality and genuine moral obligations. If partiality can bring about such obligations only if it is reasonable, what requirements should it meet in order to be reasonable? The second problem is one of animal ethics. Can the concept of reasonable partiality help us articulate what is morally at stake in a current discussion about the treatment of domestic animals, viz. the (...) European discussion about the castration of pigs? (shrink)
Perhaps the commonest reasons for the keeping of pets are companionship and as a conduit for affection. Pets are, therefore, being “used” for human ends in much the same way as laboratory or farm animals. So shouldn’t the same arguments apply to the use of pets as to those used in other ways? In accepting the “rights” of farm animals to fully express their natural behavior, one must also accept the “right” of pets to express their intrinsic natural behavior. Dogs (...) kept in houses for most of the day are being kept in an unnatural environment. So are rabbits kept in hutches, and guinea-pigs or birds in cages. These conditions infringe the animals’ telos. Dogs are naturally pack animals, so is a dog in isolation being denied its telos? Other actions more deliberately infringe telos and autonomy. Enforced shampooing – or even exercise; hair-cutting of poodles; putting animals in clothes; and tail-docking. If de-beaking of chickens is considered wrong, then the same must be true for tail-docking of dogs. One should also question the ethics of specialist breeding – especially when that results in physiological disadvantages (boxers with breathing troubles). There would appear to be no advantage to the animals in having such health problems and when these are the direct result of the breeders’ desire for specific cosmetic traits, we should question the ethics of the practice at least as much as when animals are bred for specific agricultural traits. (shrink)
In this paper, we present and defend the theoretical framework of an empirical model to describe people’s fundamental moral attitudes (FMAs) to animals, the stratification of FMAs in society and the role of FMAs in judgment on the culling of healthy animals in an animal disease epidemic. We used philosophical animal ethics theories to understand the moral basis of FMA convictions. Moreover, these theories provide us with a moral language for communication between animal ethics, FMAs, and public debates. We defend (...) that FMA is a two-layered concept. The first layer consists of deeply felt convictions about animals. The second layer consists of convictions derived from the first layer to serve as arguments in a debate on animal issues. In a debate, the latter convictions are variable, depending on the animal issue in a specific context, time, and place. This variability facilitates finding common ground in an animal issue between actors with opposing convictions. (shrink)
Abstract Drawing on the features of “practical philosophy” described by Toulmin ( 1990 ), a “practical” ethic for animals would be rooted in knowledge of how people affect animals, and would provide guidance on the diverse ethical concerns that arise. Human activities affect animals in four broad ways: (1) keeping animals, for example, on farms and as companions, (2) causing intentional harm to animals, for example through slaughter and hunting, (3) causing direct but unintended harm to animals, for example by (...) cropping practices and vehicle collisions, and (4) harming animals indirectly by disturbing life-sustaining processes and balances of nature, for example by habitat destruction and climate change. The four types of activities raise different ethical concerns including suffering, injury, deprivation, and death (of individuals), decline of populations, disruption of ecological systems containing animals, and extinction of species. They also vary in features relevant to moral evaluation and decision-making; these include the number of animals affected, the duration of the effects, the likelihood of irreversible effects, and the degree to which the effects can be controlled. In some cases human actions can also provide benefits to animals such as shelter and health care. Four mid-level principles are proposed to make a plausible fit to the features of the four types of human activities and to address the major ethical concerns that arise. The principles are: (1) to provide good lives for the animals in our care, (2) to treat suffering with compassion, (3) to be mindful of unseen harm, and (4) to protect the life-sustaining processes and balances of nature. This “practical” approach arguably makes a better fit to the complex, real-life problems of animal ethics than the single foundational principles that have dominated much recent animal ethics philosophy. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9353-z Authors David Fraser, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, V6T 1Z4 Canada Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Do we do anything wrong to animals simply by ending their lives if it causes them no pain or suffering? According to some, we can do no wrong to animals by killing them because animals do not have an interest in continued life. An attempt to ground an interest in continued life in animals’ desires faces the challenge that animals are supposedly incapable of desiring to live or of having the kinds of long-range desires which could be thwarted by death. (...) Some philosophers argue that death harms animals not because it thwarts their desires, but rather because it forecloses their future opportunities for satisfaction. However, this argument is problematic because (1) it’s unclear that animals’ future opportunities belong to the same continuing selves and (2) it’s unclear why we should think that animals’ future opportunities have value for them. A more promising argument holds that many animals have an interest in continued life insofar as they possess certain enjoyments in life, where animals’ enjoyments are best understood not merely as fleeting experiences but rather as dispositional desires which animals continue to possess over time. (shrink)
It is commonly thought that neo-Hobbesian contractarianism cannot yield direct moral standing for marginal humans and animals. However, it has been argued that marginal humans and animals can have a form of direct moral standing under neo-Hobbesian contractarianism: secondary moral standing. I will argue that, even if such standing is direct, this account is unsatisfactory because it is counterintuitive and fragile.
The aim of this special issue is to address issues surrounding the use of live animals in experimental procedures in the pre-modern era, with a special emphasis on the technical, anatomical, and philosophical sides. Such use raises philosophical, scientific, and ethical questions about the nature of life, the reliability of the knowledge acquired, and animal suffering.
Kant’s view that we have only indirect duties to animals fails to capture the intuitive notion that wronging animals transgresses duties we owe to those animals. Here I argue that Kantianism can allow for direct duties to animals, and in particular, an imperfect duty to promote animal welfare, without unduly compromising its core theoretical commitments, especially its claims concerning the source and nature of our duties toward rational beings. The basis for such duties is that animal welfare, on my revised (...) Kantian view, is neither a conditioned nor unconditioned good, but a final and non-derivative good that ought to be treated. as an end-in-itself. However, this duty to promote animal welfare operates according to a broadly consequentialist logic that both accords well with our considered judgments about our duties to animals and explains differences between these duties and duties to rational agents. (shrink)
Taking up the body turn in sociology, this paper discusses scientific practices as embodied action from the perspective of Husserl’s phenomenological theory of the “Body”. Based on ethnographic data on a biology laboratory it will discuss the importance of the scientist’s Body for the performance of scientific activities. Successful researchers have to be skilled workers using their embodied knowledge for the process of tinkering towards the material transformation of their objects for data production. The researcher’s body then is an instrument (...) of measuring as well as a kind of archive of knowing. Their body becomes a disciplined instrument which has its own place and function inside the laboratory. Furthermore, the appresentational apperception of Bodies (Husserl) is being discussed as a basis for the emotional and ethical concerns towards laboratory-animals. Attitudes towards animals in the laboratory setting (as well as elsewhere) are highly emotional. Nevertheless, following the literature of the sociology of the body, those emotional reactions still follow certain cultural patterns which themselves can be understood as embodied ways of knowing “right” or “wrong”. Besides as an instrument, the scientist’s body can also be understood as a resource of emotional attachment towards animals. It is an instrument for performing transformation as well as one for caring. (shrink)
This joint article reflects the authors’ personal views regarding noteworthy advances in the neuroscience of consciousness in the last ten years, and suggests what we feel may be promising future directions. It is based on a small conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine, USA, in July of 2012, organized by the Mind Science Foundation of San Antonio, Texas. Here, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of subjectivity in humans and other animals, including empirical, applied, technical and conceptual (...) insights. These include the evidence for the importance of fronto-parietal connectivity and of feedback processes, both of which enable information to travel across distant cortical areas effectively, as well as numerous dissociations between consciousness and cognitive functions, such as attention, in humans. In addition, we describe the development of mental imagery paradigms, which made it possible to identify covert awareness in non-responsive subjects. Non-human animal consciousness research has also witnessed substantial advances on the specific role of cortical areas and higher order thalamus for consciousness, thanks to important technological advances. In addition, much progress has been made in the understanding of non-vertebrate cognition relevant to possible conscious states. Finally, major advances have been made in theories of consciousness, and also in their comparison with the available evidence. Along with reviewing these findings, each author suggests future avenues for research in their field of investigation. (shrink)
The publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859 ignited a public storm he neither wanted nor enjoyed. Having offered his book as a contribution to science, Darwin discovered to his dismay that it was received as an affront by many scientists and as a sacrilege by clergy and Christian citizens. To answer the criticism that his theory was a theory only, and a wild one at that, he published two volumes in 1868 to demonstrate that evolution was (...) obvious to anyone who cared to look at a bull in a pasture or a dog on a hearth. In response to those who insisted that species were distinct since creation, Darwin pointed to breeders of pigs and pigeons. In reply to those who protested that human intervention is one thing and natural selection another, he argued, "If organic beings had not possessed an inherent tendency to vary, man could have done nothing." To counter those who scorned his descriptions of species in exotic places, he submitted local evidence of cabbages and cauliflower. Based on a wide array of sources, from ancient pictographs to Polish roosters, from skins and from skeletons, from scientific journals and breeding manuals, Darwin assembled a mass of proof--and a hypothesis about species reversion that risked his reputation anew. The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication is a two-volume compilation of his thorough and intensive research and the revolutionary conclusions that resulted. The first portion of his work is dedicated to a meticulous analysis of various aspects of plant and animal life, including an inventory of varieties and their physical and behavioral characteristics, investigation of the impact of a species' surrounding environment and the role that both natural and forced changes in this environment have had. Darwin then turns to a richly detailed discussion of the roles of inheritance and crossing in the development of species. A wealth of illustrations further support and enhance his findings. This fascinating, invaluable, and courageous undertaking eventually formed the foundation for our current understanding of evolution. "In science as in politics the victors tend to write the history books. As a result, the record of the past is edited, intentionally or unintentionally, so that it focuses mainly on the precursors of contemporary orthodoxy. Such a focus may accurately represent the genealogy of modern ideas, but it almost inevitably misrepresents the historical experience of their progenitors... Even the powerful, persuasive, and ultimately triumphant theory of evolution by natural selection required not only defense, but repeated buttressing and revision. Variation showed Darwin hard at work on this rearguard action, using the materials he had at hand... His information was gleaned from the observations of fanciers, breeders, and amateur naturalists, as well as from the treatises of those on the cutting edge of zoology and botany. As hindsight narrows the historical spotlight, it imposes its own sense of hierarchy on the preoccupations of the past. But Darwin was interested in all of these topics, valued all of these sources, and belonged, to a greater or lesser extent, to all of these communities."--from the Introduction. (shrink)
I argue that recent developments in animal cognition support the conclusion that HOT theory is consistent with animal consciousness. There seems to be growing evidence that many animals are indeed capable of having I-thoughts, including episodic memory, as well as have the ability to understand the mental states of others.
Plutarch is virtually unique in surviving classical authors in arguing that animals are rational and sentient, and in concluding that human beings must take notice of their interests. Stephen Newmyer explores Plutarch's three animal-related treatises, as well as passages from his other ethical treatises, which argue that non-human animals are rational and therefore deserve to fall within the sphere of human moral concern. Newmyer shows that some of the arguments Plutarch raises strikingly foreshadow those found in the works of such (...) prominent animal rights philosophers as Peter Singer and Tom Regan in maintaining that non-human animals are the sorts of creatures that have intellectual qualities that cause them to be proper objects of man's concern, and have interests and desires that entitle them to respect from their human counterparts. This volume is groundbreaking in viewing Plutarch's views not only in the context of ancient philosophical and ethical thought, but in its place, generally overlooked, in the history of speculation on human-animal relations, and in pointing out how remarkably Plutarch differs from such predominantly anti-animal thinkers as the Stoics. (shrink)
Love does not necessarily benefit its object, and cost-free love may damage both object and subject. Our love of animals mobilises several distinct human concerns and should not be considered always as a virtue or always as a benefit to the animals themselves. We need to place this love in its full psychological, cultural, and moral context in order to assess what form it ought to take if animals are to benefit from it.
Drawing on natural history, theology and philosophy, this book retraces the shifting foundations of the order of things that characterizes the period between Descartes and Kant with respect to three questions: What is an animal?
Turning animals into art through genetic manipulation poses many questions for how we think about our relationship with other species. Here, I explore three rather disparate sets of issues. First, I ask to what extent the production of such living “artforms” really is as transgressive as advocates claim. Whether or not it counts as radical in terms of art I cannot say: but it is not at all radical, I argue, in terms of how we think about our human place (...) in the world. On the contrary, producing these animals only reinforces our own sense of our importance. The second theme I explore is the extent to which making transgenic organisms for any purposes is radical in terms of complexity. Here, I focus on the idea of complexity as a concept in developmental biology; genetic manipulation may be successful to commercial companies, but it is deeply troubling to many biologists who consider that its deeply entrenched reductionism is enormously problematic. What risks do we run by ignoring nature’s own complexity—and creativity? And—in particular—what risks do we run of damaging or compromising animal welfare? The third theme turns to public perceptions of these new technologies (whether in science or art), and notes the extent of public unease. This unease is not simply a question of public ignorance about the technology, but reflects the enormously rich ways in which we make meanings about animals, and relate to them. These are, I suggest, a far more potent source of creativity than simply moving genes around to make photogenic animals. (shrink)
There is yet to be any animal welfare or protection law for domestic animals in China, one of the few countries in the world today that do not have such laws. However, in Chinese imperial law, there were legal provisions adopted more than a 1,000 years ago for the care and treatment of domestic working animals. Furthermore, in traditional Chinese philosophy, animals were regarded as constituent part of the organic whole of the cosmos by ancient Chinese philosophers who saw no (...) strict delineation between humans and non-human animals. Notwithstanding, the attitude and practice towards animals in ancient Chinese life was also ambivalent and was predicated upon the practical utility of animals for the service of humans and society. Such practice can be seen through the legal provisions in imperial China. This paper first discusses animal’s place in traditional Chinese philosophy and then in Chinese imperial law. It raises the issue of the gap discernable from the philosophical thought on animals and practice regarding animals in everyday life in China. The paper argues that given the gap in perception and attitude regarding animals, law can play an important role that moral teaching has not been able to achieve. (shrink)