Zoopolis offers a new agenda for the theory and practice of animalrights. Most animalrights theory focuses on the intrinsic capacities or interests of animals, and the moral status and moral rights that these intrinsic characteristics give rise to. Zoopolis shifts the debate from the realm of moral theory and applied ethics to the realm of political theory, focusing on the relational obligations that arise from the varied ways that animals relate to human (...) societies and institutions. Building on recent developments in the political theory of group-differentiated citizenship, Zoopolis introduces us to the genuine "politicalanimal". It argues that different types of animals stand in different relationships to human political communities. Domesticated animals should be seen as full members of human-animal mixed communities, participating in the cooperative project of shared citizenship. Wilderness animals, by contrast, form their own sovereign communities entitled to protection against colonization, invasion, domination and other threats to self-determination. `Liminal' animals who are wild but live in the midst of human settlement (such as crows or raccoons) should be seen as "denizens", resident of our societies, but not fully included in rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To all of these animals we owe respect for their basic inviolable rights. But we inevitably and appropriately have very different relations with them, with different types of obligations. Humans and animals are inextricably bound in a complex web of relationships, and Zoopolis offers an original and profoundly affirmative vision of how to ground this complex web of relations on principles of justice and compassion. (shrink)
Questions on "animalrights" in a cross-national survey conducted in 1993 provide an opportunity to compare the applicability to this issue of two theories of the socio-political changes summed up in "postmodernity": Inglehart's (1997) thesis of "postmaterialist values" and Franklin's (1999) synthesis of theories of late modernity. Although Inglehart seems not to have addressed human-nonhuman animal relations, it is reasonable to apply his theory of changing values under conditions of "existential security" to "animalrights." (...) Inglehart's postmaterialism thesis argues that new values emerged within specific groups because of the achievement of material security. Although emphasizing human needs, they shift the agenda toward a series of lifestyle choices that favor extending lifestyle choices, rights, and environmental considerations. Franklin's account of nonhuman animals and modern cultures stresses a generalized "ontological insecurity." Under postmodern conditions, changes to core aspects of social and cultural life are both fragile and fugitive. As neighborhood, community, family, and friendship relations lose their normative and enduring qualities, companion animals increasingly are drawn in to those formerly exclusive human emotional spaces. With a method used by Inglehart and a focus in countries where his postmaterialist effects should be most evident, this study derives and tests different expectations from the theories, then tests them against data from a survey supporting Inglehart's theory. His theory is not well supported. We conclude that its own anthropocentrism limits it and that the allowance for hybrids of nature-culture in Franklin's account offers more promise for a social theory of animalrights in changing times. (shrink)
This volume provides a general overview of the basic ethical and philosophical issues of animalrights. It asks questions such as: Do animals have moral rights? If so, what does this mean? What sorts of mental lives do animals have, and how should we understand welfare? By presenting models for understanding animals' moral status and rights, and examining their mental lives and welfare, David DeGrazia explores the implications for how we should treat animals in connection with (...) our diet, zoos, and research. AnimalRights distinguishes itself by combining intellectual rigor with accessibility, offering a distinct moral voice with a non-polemical tone. (shrink)
Bringing these two emergent areas of thought into direct conversation in Before the Law, Cary Wolfe fosters a new discussion about the status of nonhuman animals and the shared plight of humans and animals under biopolitics.
Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum bring together an all-star cast of contributors to explore the legal and political issues that underlie the campaign for animalrights and the opposition to it. Addressing ethical questions about ownership, protection against unjustified suffering, and the ability of animals to make their own choices free from human control, the authors offer numerous different perspectives on animalrights and animal welfare. They show that whatever one's ultimate conclusions, the relationship (...) between human beings and nonhuman animals is being fundamentally rethought. This book offers a state-of-the-art treatment of that rethinking. (shrink)
General information -- The animals themselves -- Philosophical arguments -- Laws -- Political realities -- Social realities -- Education and the arts -- Contemporary sciences -- Major figures and organizations in the animalrights movement -- The future of animalrights.
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 animalrights 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)
Este artículo ofrece un análisis y un comentario general de los dieciséis estudios que componen el libro compilado por Enrique Hülsz Piccone, Nuevos ensayos sobre Heráclito, el último compendio de investigaciones sobre la filosofía del Oscuro de Efe so, donde se reúnen las actas del Segundo Symposium Heracliteum celebrado en junio de 2006 en la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la UNAM, ocasión en la que algunos de los especialistas más reconocidos de la comunidad internacional se reunieron para presentar (...) sus trabajos sobre Heráclito. This article aims to analyze and discuss the sixteen studies that compose the book edited by Enrique Hülsz Piccone, Nuevos ensayos sobre Heráclito, which is the latest compendium of studies on the philosophy of the Obscure of Ephesus. This volume gathers the proceedings of the Second Symposium Heracliteum held in June 2006 at the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UNAM, where some of the most renowned specialists of the international community came together to present their work on Heraclitus. (shrink)
It is a curious fact about mainstream discussions of animalrights that they are dominated by consequentialist defenses thereof, when consequentialism in general has been on the wane in other areas of moral philosophy. In this paper, I describe an alternative, non‐consequentialist ethical framework (combining Kantian and virtue‐ethical elements) and argue that it grants (conscious) animals more expansive rights than consequentialist proponents of animalrights typically grant. The cornerstone of this non‐consequentialist framework is the thought (...) that the virtuous agent is s/he who has the stable and dominating disposition to treat all conscious animals, including non‐human conscious animals, as ends and not mere means. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that the evolutionary and comparative study of nonhuman animal (hereafter animal) cognition in a wide range of taxa by cognitive ethologists can readily inform discussions about animal protection and animalrights. However, while it is clear that there is a link between animal cognitive abilities and animal pain and suffering, I agree with Jeremy Bentham who claimed long ago the real question does not deal with whether individuals can (...) think or reason but rather with whether or not individuals can suffer. One of my major goals will be to make the case that the time has come to expand. The Great Ape Project (GAP) to The Great Ape/Animal Project (GA/AP) and to take seriously the moral status and rights of all animals by presupposing that all individuals should be admitted into the Community of Equals. I also argue that individuals count and that it is essential to avoid being speciesist cognitivists; it really doesn't matter whether ‘dogs ape’ or whether ‘apes dog’ when taking into account the worlds of different individual animals. Narrow-minded primatocentrism and speciesism must be resisted in our studies of animal cognition and animal protection and rights. Line-drawing into ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ species is a misleading speciesist practice that should be vigorously resisted because not only is line-drawing bad biology but also because it can have disastrous consequences for how animals are viewed and treated. Speciesist line-drawing also ignores within species individual differences. (shrink)
Zoos and animalrights 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)
This book offers a powerful response to what Varner calls the "two dogmas of environmental ethics"--the assumptions that animalrights philosophies and anthropocentric views are each antithetical to sound environmental policy. Allowing that every living organism has interests which ought, other things being equal, to be protected, Varner contends that some interests take priority over others. He defends both a sentientist principle giving priority to the lives of organisms with conscious desires and an anthropocentric principle giving priority (...) to certain very inclusive interests which only humans have. He then shows that these principles not only comport with but provide significant support for environmental goals. (shrink)
The publication of 'AnimalRights and Souls in the 18th Century' will be welcomed by everyone interested in the development of the modern animal liberation movement, as well as by those who simply want to savour the work of enlightenment thinkers pushing back the boundaries of both science and ethics. At last these long out-of-print texts are again available to be read and enjoyed - and what texts they are! Gems like Bougeant's witty reductio of the Christian (...) view of animals are included together with path-breaking works of ethics such as Primatt's A Dissertation on the Duty of Mercy and Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals . There are works I have never seen before, including the remarkable Cry of Nature by the Scottish revolutionary Jacobin, John Oswald. In this set, everyone will find something novel, delightful and truly enlightening. - Peter Singer The discussion of animalrights and the moral status of animals, so prevalent in the late twentieth century, has its roots in the mid to late eighteenth century. Some of the themes we consider of recent invention - the legal standing of animals, the ethical status of vegetarians, cruelty towards animals, ultimately resulting in cruelty to humans - are of long standing. But in the eighteenth-century literature they are interconnected with theological issues surrounding animal souls, the birth of the life sciences, the great chain of being and other peculiarly eighteenth-century problems. This collection explores the exciting early discussions of moral theories concerning animals, placing them within their historical and social context. It reveals that issues such as vivisection, animal souls and vegetarianism were very much live philosophical subjects 200 years ago. The six volumes reprinted here includes complete works and edited extracts from such key eighteenth-century thinkers as Oswald, Primatt, Smellie, Monboddo and Jenyns. Many of the materials are extremely rare and never previously reprinted. The collection, edited with a new introduction and bio-bibliography by Aaron V. Garrett provides valuable original source material to supplement contemporary discussions of animalrights. --18th-century material on the theme of animalrights and practical ethics --an important supplement to contemporary animalrights discussions --provides a broader account of early discussions of the 'science of human nature' through animals --widens our understanding of 18th-century ethics through an important area of practical ethics --includes many scarce texts, most of which have never been reprinted before. (shrink)
Many paradigmatic forms of animalrights and environmental activism have been classed as terrorism both in popular discourse and in law. This paper argues that the labelling of many violent forms of direct action carried out in the name of animalrights or environmentalism as ‘terrorism’ is incorrect. Furthermore, the claim is also made that even those acts which are correctly termed as terrorism are not necessarily wrongful acts. The result of this analysis is to call (...) into question the terms of public debate and the legitimacy of anti-terrorism laws targeting and punishing radical activism. (shrink)
I argue that the personhood of a fetus is analogous to the the heap. If this is correct, then the moral status or intrinsic value of a fetus would be supervenient upon the fetus's biological development. Yet to compare its claim vis-a-vis its mother's, we need to consider not only their moral status, but also the type of claim they each have. Thus we have to give weight to the two factors or variables of the mother's moral status and her (...) claim to some lesser good (assuming that this is not the kind of case in which the mother would suffer some great harm, such as death). And then we have to consider the fetus's lesser moral status and its claim to some greater good, namely, life. I argue that we do not know how to compare these two-variable claims. This also explains why the central cases of abortion have been so difficult to resolve. I suggest that the problem of animalrights has a similar structure. (shrink)
I examine the risks and opportunities associated with social movement coalition building in attempts to block or curtail the rise of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the United States. As producers have scaled up animal production facilities, environmentalists and animalrights activists, along with numerous other social actors, have begun anti-CAFO campaigns. I argue that while the CAFO has mobilized a diverse group of social actors, these individuals and organizations do not all have the same (...) interests (aside from resistance to CAFOs), leading to some unlikely allies. These odd alliances provide opportunities for agrifood scholars to study the relationship between the coalitions that social movement organizations form and the support they receive from their respective constituencies. Lastly, I argue that the need for agrifood scholars to address the pitfalls associated with single-issue coalition building extends beyond the unlikely alliance between environmentalists and animalrights activists, as agrifood related crises have led to a proliferation of such coalitions. (shrink)
This article examines United States v. Stevens, a case recently decided by the Supreme Court, and its relation to animal law and freedom of speech issues, specifically the contention between the two, caused by the statute in question at the heart of the case. While animalrights advocates wish to frame the case through an anti-animal cruelty perspective, those seeking to protect freedom of speech have made the statute an issue of First Amendment rights. Is (...) 18 USC § 48 an imposition on free speech or a step in the right direction towards protection of animals and promotion of their rights? It is argued here that the Supreme Court should have recognized the Stevens case as an important development in animalrights and held that the statute is narrowly tailored, based on a compelling government interest, and that the protection of animals from harm overshadows any possible speech or expression that is found in crush videos, dog fighting videos, and the like. (shrink)
This collection of new essays aims to address some of the most perplexing issues arising from death and dying, as well as the moral status of persons and animals. Leading scholars, including Peter Singer and Gerald Dworkin, investigate diverse topics such as animalrights, vegetarianism, lethal injection, abortion and euthanasia.
With more than two million members and supporters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the world’s largest animal-rights organization, and its founder and president, Ingrid Newkirk, is one of the most well-known and most effective activists in America. She has spearheaded worldwide efforts to improve the treatment of animals in manufacturing, entertainment, and elsewhere. Every day, in laboratories, food factories, and other industries, animals by the millions are subjected to inhumane cruelty. In this accessible guide, (...) Newkirk teaches readers hundreds of simple ways to stop thoughtless animal cruelty and make positive choices. For each topic, Newkirk provides hard facts, personal insight, inspiration, ideas, and resources, including: • How to eat healthfully and compassionately • How to adopt animals rather than support puppy mills • How to make their vote count and change public opinion • How to switch to cruelty-free cosmetics and clothing • How to choose amusements that protect rather than exploit animals. With public concern for the well-being of animals greater than ever—particularly among young people—this timely, practical book offers exciting and easy ways to make a difference. (shrink)
More than twenty years after its original publication, The Case for AnimalRights is an acknowledged classic of moral philosophy, and its author is recognized as the intellectual leader of the animalrights movement. In a new and fully considered preface, Regan responds to his critics and defends the book's revolutionary position.
The question of the nature and extent of our moral obligations to non-human animals has featured prominently in recent moral debate. This book defends the novel position that a contradictarian moral theory can be used to justify the claim that animals possess a substantial and wide-ranging set of moral rights. Critiquing the rival accounts of Peter Singer and Tom Regan, this study shows how an influential form of the social contract idea can be extended to make sense of the (...) concept of animalrights. (shrink)
Animalrights and moral theories -- Arguing for one's species -- Utilitarianism and animals : Peter Singer's case for animal liberation -- Tom Regan : animalrights as natural rights -- Virtue ethics and animals -- Contractarianism and animalrights -- Animal minds.
This article discusses critical comparisons between the human and nonhuman abolitionist movements in the United States. The modern nonhuman abolitionist movement is, in some ways, an extension of the anti-slavery movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the ongoing human Civil Rights movement. As such, there is considerable overlap between the two movements, specifically in the need to simultaneously address property status and oppressive ideology. Despite intentional appropriation of terminology and numerous similarities in mobilization efforts, there has been (...) disappointingly little academic discussion on this relationship. There are significant contentions regarding mobilization and goal attainment in the human abolitionist movement that speak to modern collective action on behalf of other animals. This article will explore the human abolitionist movement and discuss possible applications of movement organization, tactical repertoires, and goal attainment to the current nonhuman animalrights movement. Specifically, the utility of violence and legislative activism in the antislavery movement are discussed as potentially problematic approaches to abolishing nonhuman animal exploitation. Alternatively, the nonhuman animalrights focus on consumer resistance and nonviolence represent an important divergence in abolitionist mobilization. (shrink)
Do non-human animals have rights? The answer to this question depends on whether animals have morally relevant mental properties. Mindreading is the human activity of ascribing mental states to other organisms. Current knowledge about the evolution and cognitive structure of mindreading indicates that human ascriptions of mental states to non-human animals are very inaccurate. The accuracy of human mindreading can be improved with the help of scientific studies of animal minds. But the scientific studies by themselves do not (...) by themselves solve the problem of how to map psychological similarities (and differences) between humans and animals onto a distinction between morally relevant and morally irrelevant mental properties. The current limitations of human mindreading – whether scientifically aided or not – have practical consequences for the rational justification of claims about which rights (if any) non-human animals should be accorded. (shrink)
Even if animal liberation were to be adopted, would rights for animals be redundant – or even deleterious? Such an objection, most prominently voiced by L. W. Sumner and Paul W. Taylor, is misguided, risks an anthropocentric and anthropomorphic conception of autonomy and freedom, overly agent-centered rights conceptions, and an overlooking of the likely harmful consequences of positing rights for humans but not for nonhuman animals. The objection in question also stems from an overly pessimistic construal (...) of autonomy-infringements thought to result from extending rights to animals, and also, of confusions that supposedly may ensue from ascribing animalrights. Whether or not a case for animal liberation and/or animalrights can cogently be made, the redundancy-or-worse objection to animalrights need pose no barrier. (shrink)
The Animal Ethics Reader is the first comprehensive, state-of-the-art anthology of readings on this substantial area of study and interest. A subject that regularly captures the headlines, the book is designed to appeal to anyone interested in tracing the history of the subject, as well as providing a powerful insight into the debate as it has developed. The recent wealth of material published in this area has not, until now, been collected in one volume. Readings are arranged thematically, carefully (...) presenting a balanced representation of the subject as it stands. It will be essential reading for students taking a course in the subject as well as being of considerable interest to the general reader. Articles are arranged under the following headings: Theories of Animal Ethics; Animal Capacities; Animals for Food; Animal Experimentation; Genetic Engineering of Animals; Ethics and Wildlife; Zoos, Aquaria, and Animals in Entertainment; Companion Animals; Legal Rights for Animals. Readings from leading experts in the field including Peter Singer, Mary Midgley and Bernard Rollin are featured as well as selections from Donald Griffin, Mark Bekoff, Jane Goodall, Raymond Frey, Barbara Orlans, Tom Regan, and Baird Callicott. There is an emphasis on balancing classic and contemporary readings with a view to presenting debates as they stand at this point in time. Each chapter is introduced by the editors and study questions feature at the end. The foreword has been written by Bernard Rollin. (shrink)
This collection of new essays aims to address some of the most perplexing issues arising from death and dying, as well as the moral status of persons and animals. Leading scholars, including Peter Singer and Gerald Dworkin, investigate diverse topics such as animalrights, vegetarianism, lethal injection, abortion and euthanasia.
The article discusses the rights of minorities in the system of the International Covenant on Civil and PoliticalRights. It establishes a conceptual distinction between universal rights, specific rights of minorities in general and specific rights of particular minorities. Universal rights correspond to all individuals (e,g,, “no one shall be subjected to torture”) or all groups of a certain class (e.g., “all families are entitled to protection”). Minority groups and their members are entitled (...) to these rights in the same way as any other individual or group. Specific rights of minorities in general are granted to minority groups (e.g., “minority groups have the right to speak their own language”) or their members (e.g., “persons belonging to a minority group have the right to speak the language of the group”). Finally, specific rights of particular minorities are granted to specific groups identified by their characteristics (e.g., “the linguistic minority X has the right to speak the X language”) or their members (e.g., “any member of the linguistic minority X has the right to speak the X language”). Treaties and international declarations often refer to universal rights and specific rights of minorities in general. However, these rights are usually recognised in broad terms, and their implementation may lead to the recognition of specific rights in favour of particular minorities or their members. Protection of minorities (in the broad sense of the expression) is based on two pillars: on the one hand, the protection against discrimination; on the other hand, the protection of minorities in the strict sense. The first pillar is an aspect of the general principle of nondiscrimination and requires respect for both formal and substantive equalities. The protection of minorities in the strict sense involves the preservation of their particular identity. The purpose of the equality in a formal sense is achieved through universal rights, to the extent that these are granted to minority groups and their members. On the contrary, to achieve equality in a substantive sense, it could be necessary to implement positive measures. The implementation of these measures will usually lead to the recognition of specific rights of minority groups or their members. Finally, the protection of the distinctive characteristics of the minorities will also be done through specific rights. Thus, on the one hand, there are rights, which are intended to protect the minority forms of life (i.e. to protect differences), and, on the other hand, those that are intended to allow minorities equal access to different uniform social goods (i.e. to protect equality). Whereas the former ones seek to protect and promote the particularities of the minority culture (e.g., the right to receive education in their own language), the latter ones are recognised to overcome the disadvantages that minority groups and their members face and are not intended to promote peculiarities, but rather to permit equal access to resources and social opportunities. Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and PoliticalRights enshrines specific rights of minorities intended to protect and promote their own forms of life. Although economic rights are not mentioned (the article refers to the rights “to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, [and] to use their own language”), they may stem from the explicitly recognised rights. The rights recognised by the Covenant are not collective, but individual rights (“in those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right [...]”). The rights recognised in the Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities are of the same nature. The principle of equality and non-discrimination is contained in Articles 2.1 and 26 of the Covenant. This principle forbids direct and indirect discrimination, be it de iure or de facto. As this is a universal right, minorities can also benefit from it. According to the Human Rights Committee, Article 27 imposes on States the adoption of positive measures that exceed an attitude of mere abstention. In the same way, positive measures may be necessary to make the principle of equality and non-discrimination effective. Although neither Article 27 nor Articles 2.1 and 26 refer to individuals belonging to a specific minority, the concrete implementation of these articles through positive measures may produce specific rights for persons belonging to particular minority groups. (shrink)
The article discusses the problems of development of women’s politicalrights in Lithuania in the legal historical aspect starting from the 16th century, when some property and individual rights were enshrined in the first codifications of the laws of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. The aim of the article is to show that women’s struggle for political equality and suffrage at the end of the 19th and at the turn of the 20th century correlates with the (...) movement for re-establishment of the independent State of Lithuania. As a result in Lithuania equal suffrage and politicalrights were ensured from the very beginning of independence. In 1905 the Great Seimas of Vilnius recognized the principles of equality of women and men and declared the principles of equal general election to the Seimas (parliament); women’s suffrage, as one of the elements of legal equality, became constitutionally entrenched already in the first temporary Constitution of the State of Lithuania in 1918. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century women’s rights have been further developed, moreover, the first woman was elected as President of the Republic in the national elections in May 2009. (shrink)
How much do animals matter--morally? Can we keep considering them as second class beings, to be used merely for our benefit? Or, should we offer them some form of moral egalitarianism? Inserting itself into the passionate debate over animalrights, this fascinating, provocative work by renowned scholar Paola Cavalieri advances a radical proposal: that we extend basic human rights to the nonhuman animals we currently treat as "things." Cavalieri first goes back in time, tracing the roots of (...) the debate from the 1970s, then explores not only the ethical but also the scientific viewpoints, examining the debate's precedents in mainstream Western philosophy. She considers the main proposals of reform that recently have been advanced within the framework of today's prevailing ethical perspectives. Are these proposals satisfying? Cavalieri says no, claiming that it is necessary to go beyond the traditional opposition between utilitarianism and Kantianism and focus on the question of fundamental moral protection. In the case of human beings, such protection is granted within the widely shared moral doctrine of universal human rights' theory. Cavalieri argues that if we examine closely this theory, we will discover that its very logic extends to nonhuman animals as beings who are owed basic moral and legal rights and that, as a result, human rights are not human after all. (shrink)
This essay explores the relation between two perspectives on the nature of human rights. According to the "political" or "practical" perspective, human rights are claims that individuals have against certain institutional structures, in particular modern states, in virtue of interests they have in contexts that include them. According to the more traditional "humanist" or "naturalistic" perspective, human rights are pre-institutional claims that individuals have against all other individuals in virtue of interests characteristic of their common humanity. (...) This essay argues that once we identify the two perspectives in their best light, we can see that they are complementary and that in fact we need both to make good normative sense of the contemporary practice of human rights. It explains how humanist and political considerations can and should work in tandem to account for the concept, content, and justification of human rights. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical exploration of the capability approach to human rights (CAHR) with the specific aim of developing its potential for achieving a synthesis between “humanist” or “naturalistic” and “political” or “practical” perspectives in the philosophy of human rights. Section II presents a general strategy for achieving such a synthesis. Section III provides an articulation of the key insights of CAHR (its focus on actual realizations given diverse circumstances, its pluralism of grounds, its emphasis on (...) freedom of choice, its demand for public reasoning, its context-sensitive universalism, and its broad view of obligations). These insights go some way toward the achievement of the desired synthesis. But, as explained in IV.1, in its current form CAHR faces two serious objections by the defenders of the political perspective: the Gap Between Capabilities-Interests and Rights Objection and the Disconnect From Practice Objection. Answering these criticisms requires some amendments to CAHR. Section IV.2 suggests a response to the first objection based on the introduction of a contractualist framework of justification. Sections IV.3 and IV.4 tackle the second objection by introducing a re-characterization of the cosmopolitan standard underlying the humanist perspective and by identifying the differences and relations between various dimensions of a conception of human rights and their significance for actual political practice. The paper illustrates the practical implications of CAHR, in its modified form, for the pursuit of some important rights. (shrink)
This special issue of Human Rights Review is devoted to an exploration of the current human rights research agendas within the political science discipline. Research on human rights is truly an interdisciplinary quest in which various epistemologies can contribute to each other and form a larger dialogue concerning rights and wrongs. This special issue is devoted to an expansive understanding of the state of research on human rights in the political science discipline. One (...) common theme throughout these contributions is the need for a more nuanced conceptualization of human rights, tools to promote these rights and as social scientists, methodologies employed to study these rights. A second theme is the policy relevance that can be derived from our empirical analysis. This volume demonstrates that the integration of theoretically and normatively rich concepts, empirical social science, and policy relevance do not have to be mutually exclusive when studying human rights. (shrink)
This timely and provocative book examines the theories behind the most commonly held contemporary assumptions about animalrights. Focusing on the writings of prominent pro-liberation activists such as Peter Singer, Tom Regan and Mary Midgley, Michael P. T. Leahy argues that the animalrights movement is based upon a series of fundamental misconceptions about the basic nature of animals--beliefs which define them rationally, emotionally, and morally in too human terms. Leahy gives particular emphasis to the writings (...) of Ludwig Wittgenstein and his highly influential philosophy of language, and concludes that much of our talk about animals is dangerously anthropomorphic and encourages us to elevate them to quasi-human status. He examines such crucial issues as animal experimentation, the use of animals for food and fur, animals in captivity and vegetarianism. (shrink)