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Summary This category covers philosophical discussions of the ethics of captivity, ranging from what captivity is to whether and why it is wrong to keep animals captive. Works included here also discuss the specific conditions under which captivity is harmful or not, whether and which animals have an interest in freedom or liberty, and the ethics of particular forms of confinement, e.g., for animals kept for research, food, entertainment or as companions.
Key works Gruen 2014
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  1. Zoos and Eyes: Contesting Captivity and Seeking Successor Practices.Ralph Acampora - 2005 - Society and Animals 13 (1):69-88.
    This paper compares the phenomenological structure of zoological exhibition to the pattern prevalent in pornography. It examines several disanalogies between the two, finds them lacking or irrelevant, and concludes that the proposed analogy is strong enough to serve as a critical lens through which to view the institution of zoos. The central idea uncovered in this process of interpretation is paradoxical: Zoos are pornographic in that they make the nature of their subjects disappear precisely by overexposing them. The paper asserts (...)
  2. Corporal Compassion: Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body.Ralph R. Acampora - 2014 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
    Most approaches to animal ethics ground the moral standing of nonhumans in some appeal to their capacities for intelligent autonomy or mental sentience. _Corporal Compassion _emphasizes the phenomenal and somatic commonality of living beings; a philosophy of body that seeks to displace any notion of anthropomorphic empathy in viewing the moral experiences of nonhuman living beings. Ralph R. Acampora employs phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism and deconstruction to connect and contest analytic treatments of animal rights and liberation theory. In doing so, he (...)
  3. Corporal Compassion: Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body.Ralph R. Acampora - 2006 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
    Most approaches to animal ethics ground the moral standing of nonhumans in some appeal to their capacities for intelligent autonomy or mental sentience. _Corporal Compassion _emphasizes the phenomenal and somatic commonality of living beings; a philosophy of body that seeks to displace any notion of anthropomorphic empathy in viewing the moral experiences of nonhuman living beings. Ralph R. Acampora employs phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism and deconstruction to connect and contest analytic treatments of animal rights and liberation theory. In doing so, he (...)
  4. Ape Autonomy? Social Norms and Moral Agency in Other Species.Kristin Andrews - 2013 - In Klaus Petrus & Markus Wild (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Animals: Mind, Ethics, Morals. Transcript. pp. 173-196.
    Once upon a time, not too long ago, the question about apes and ethics had to do with moral standing—do apes have interests or rights that humans ought to respect? Given the fifty years of research on great ape cognition, life history, social organization, and behavior, the answer to that question seems obvious. Apes have emotions and projects, they can be harmed, and they have important social relationships.
  5. Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers' Brief.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, G. K. D. Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David M. Pena-Guzman & Jeff Sebo - forthcoming - London: Routledge.
    In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted (...)
  6. The Philosophers' Brief on Chimpanzee Personhood.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, Gillian Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David Pena-Guzman, James Rocha, Bernard Rollin, Jeff Sebo, Adam Shriver & Rebecca Walker - 2018 - Proposed Brief by Amici Curiae Philosophers in Support of the Petitioner-Appelllant Court of Appeals, State of New York,.
    In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
  7. Commentary on “the Gladiator Sparrow: Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research on Captive Populations of Wild Animals”.Lida Anestidou - 2004 - Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (4):731-734.
    This case involves invasive research on captive wild populations of birds to study aggressive animal behavior. The case and associated commentaries raise and examine fundamental issues: whether and under what conditions, such research is ethically justified when the research has no expected, direct application to the human species; the moral status of animals and how one balances concern for the animal’s interests against the value of gains in scientific knowledge. They also emphasize the issue of the importance of a thorough (...)
  8. The Elephant Trap: A Conundrum of Captivity.Nancy L. Barrickman - 2012 - Society and Animals 20 (2):193-194.
  9. Autonomy in Chimpanzees.Tom L. Beauchamp & Victoria Wobber - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (2):117-132.
    Literature on the mental capacities and cognitive mechanisms of the great apes has been silent about whether they can act autonomously. This paper provides a philosophical theory of autonomy supported by psychological studies of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie chimpanzee behavior to argue that chimpanzees can act autonomously even though their psychological mechanisms differ from those of humans. Chimpanzees satisfy the two basic conditions of autonomy: (1) liberty (the absence of controlling influences) and (2) agency (self-initiated intentional action), each of (...)
  10. Talking About Horses: Control and Freedom in the World of "Natural Horsemanship".Lynda Birke - 2008 - Society and Animals 16 (2):107-126.
    This paper explores how horses are represented in the discourses of "natural horsemanship" , an approach to training and handling horses that advocates see as better than traditional methods. In speaking about their horses, NH enthusiasts move between two registers: On one hand, they use a quasi-scientific narrative, relying on terms and ideas drawn from ethology, to explain the instinctive behavior of horses. Within this mode of narrative, the horse is "other" and must be understood through the human learning to (...)
  11. Doing Right by Our Companion Animals.K. Burgess-Jackson - 1998 - The Journal of Ethics 2:159-185.
  12. Limitations on the Confinement of Food Animals in the United States.Terence J. Centner - 2010 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (5):469-486.
    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 (...)
  13. Endangered Species and the Right to Die.Frank Chessa - 2005 - Environmental Ethics 27 (1):23-41.
    Assuming that both humans and nonhuman organisms have intrinsic value, the concept of a “death with dignity” should extend to the natural world. Recently, an effort has been undertaken to save the razorback sucker, an endangered species of fish in the Colorado River. Razorback are bred and raised in captivity and transferred to the river only when large enough to survive predation by nonnative fish. While this effort is well-intentioned, there is little chance that the razorback will again live unassisted (...)
  14. The Euthanasia of Companion Animals.Michael Cholbi - 2017 - In Christine Overall (ed.), Pets and People: The Ethics of our Relationships with Companion Animals. Oxford University Press. pp. 264-278.
    Argues that considerations central to the justification of euthanizing humans do not readily extrapolate to the euthanasia of pets and companion animals; that the comparative account of death's badness can be successfully applied to such animals to ground the justification of their euthanasia and its timing; and proposes that companion animal guardians have authority to decide to euthanize such animals because of their epistemic standing regarding such animals' welfare.
  15. Animal Rights Without Liberation: Applied Ethics and Human Obligations.Alasdair Cochrane - 2012 - Columbia University Press.
    Moving beyond theory to the practical aspects of applied ethics, this pragmatic volume provides much-needed perspective on the realities and responsibilities of the human-animal relationship.
  16. Ownership and Justice for Animals.Alasdair Cochrane - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (4):424-442.
    This article argues that it is not necessary to abolish all incidents of animal ownership in order to achieve justice for them. It claims that ownership does not grant owners a right to absolute control of their property. Rather, it argues that ownership is a much more qualified concept, conveying different rights in different contexts. With this understanding of ownership in mind, the article argues that it is possible for humans to own animals and at the same time to treat (...)
  17. Animal Rights and Animal Experiments: An Interest-Based Approach.Alasdair Cochrane - 2007 - Res Publica 13 (3):293-318.
    This paper examines whether non-human animals have a moral right not to be experimented upon. It adopts a Razian conception of rights, whereby an individual possesses a right if an interest of that individual is sufficient to impose a duty on another. To ascertain whether animals have a right not to be experimented on, three interests are examined which might found such a right: the interest in not suffering, the interest in staying alive, and the interest in being free. It (...)
  18. The Moral Irrelevance of Autonomy.Gary Comstock - 1992 - Between the Species 8 (1):4.
  19. Duties to Companion Animals.Steve Cooke - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (3):261-274.
    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 (...)
  20. Animal Agency, Captivity, and Meaning.Nicolas Delon - 2018 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 25:127-146.
    Can animals be agents? Do they want to be free? Can they have meaningful lives? If so, should we change the way we treat them? This paper offers an account of animal agency and of two continuums: between human and nonhuman agency, and between wildness and captivity. It describes how a wide range of human activities impede on animals’ freedom and argues that, in doing so, we deprive a wide range of animals of opportunities to exercise their agency in ways (...)
  21. Moral Autonomy, Self-Determination and Animal Rights.Robert Elliot - 1987 - The Monist 70 (1):83-97.
  22. Can a Chimp Say "No"? Reenvisioning Chimpanzee Dissent in Harmful Research.Andrew Fenton - 2014 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 23 (2):130-139.
    Among the "hard cases" of captive animal research is the continued use of chimpanzees in harmful experimental science. In a recent article I contend that contemporary animal welfare science and chimpanzee behavioral studies permit, if not require, a reappraisal of the moral significance of chimpanzee dissent from participation in certain experiments. In what follows, I outline my earlier argument, provide a brief survey of some central concepts in pediatric research ethics, and use these to enrich an understanding of chimpanzee dissent (...)
  23. In Defence of Backyard Chickens.Bob Fischer & Josh Milburn - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Suppose that animals have rights. If so, may you go down to your local farm store, buy some chicks, raise them in your backyard, and eat their eggs? You wouldn't think so. But we argue, to the contrary, that you may. Just as there are circumstances in which it's permissible to liberate a slave, even if that means paying into a corrupt system, so there are circumstances in which it's permissible to liberate chickens by buying them. Moreover, we contend that (...)
  24. Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
    It is my view that one essential difference between persons and other creatures is to be found in the structure of a person's will. Besides wanting and choosing and being moved to do this or that, men may also want to have certain desires and motives. They are capable of wanting to be different, in their preferences and purposes, from what they are. Many animals appear to have the capacity for what I shall call "first-order desires" or "desires of the (...)
  25. Commentary on “the Gladiator Sparrow: Ethical Issues in Behavioral Research on Captive Populations of Wild Animals”.Todd M. Freeberg - 2004 - Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (4):721-725.
    This case involves invasive research on captive wild populations of birds to study aggressive animal behavior. The case and associated commentaries raise and examine fundamental issues: whether and under what conditions, such research is ethically justified when the research has no expected, direct application to the human species; the moral status of animals and how one balances concern for the animal’s interests against the value of gains in scientific knowledge. They also emphasize the issue of the importance of a thorough (...)
  26. Autonomy and the Value of Animal Life.R. G. Frey - 1987 - The Monist 70 (1):50-63.
  27. Animals Do Have an Interest in Liberty. Giroux - 2016 - Journal of Animal Ethics 6 (1):20-43.
    According to Alasdair Cochrane, liberty can have value for most animals only because it allows them to obtain other desirable things, such as well-being. With this he concludes that humans can continue to use other animals as long as they treat them well. In this article, I reject this conclusion by arguing against the positive conception of liberty in favor of its negative or republican conception. I suggest that it is sufficient for a being to be capable of agency in (...)
  28. Le droit à la liberté des animaux sensibles.Valéry Giroux - 2015 - In Méryl Pinque (ed.), Bêtes humaines. Autrement.
  29. Thinking About Animals: James, Wittgenstein, Hearne.Russell B. Goodman - 2016 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 5 (1):9-29.
    In this paper I reconsider James and Wittgenstein, not in the quest for what Wittgenstein might have learned from James, or for an answer to the question whether Wittgenstein was a pragmatist, but in an effort to see what these and other related but quite different thinkers can help us to see about animals, including ourselves. I follow Cora Diamond’s lead in discussing a late paper by Vicki Hearne entitled “A Taxonomy of Knowing: Animals Captive, Free-Ranging, and at Liberty”, which (...)
  30. Ethics of Captivity.Lori Gruen (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
  31. The Ethics of Captivity.Lori Gruen (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Though conditions of captivity vary widely for humans and for other animals, there are common ethical themes that imprisonment raises. This volume brings together scholars, scientists, and sanctuary workers to address these issues in fifteen new essays.
  32. Beyond Dehumanization: A Post-Humanist Critique of Intensive Confinement.Lisa Guenther - 2012 - Journal of Critical Animal Studies. Special Issue on Animals and Prisons 10 (2).
    Prisoners involved in the Attica rebellion and in the recent Georgia prison strike have protested their dehumanizing treatment as animals and as slaves. Their critique is crucial for tracing the connections between slavery, abolition, the racialization of crime, and the reinscription of racialized slavery within the US prison system. I argue that, in addition to the dehumanization of prisoners, inmates are further de-animalized when they are held in conditions of intensive confinement such as prolonged solitude or chronic overcrowding. To be (...)
  33. Liberty and Valuing Sentient Life. Hadley - 2013 - Ethics and the Environment 18 (1):87-103.
    In “Do Animals have an Interest in Liberty?” Alasdair Cochrane brings some much needed attention to the ethics of animal confinement (2009a). Of particular significance is the question of whether confinement in itself is bad for nonhuman animal (hereafter, animal) well-being. If confinement conditions cause animals to suffer or frustrate their preferences it is safe to assume that liberty or freedom (following Cochrane, I use the terms interchangeably) would be instrumentally good for them. But, what about seemingly benign conditions of (...)
  34. Confining 'Disenhanced'Animals.John Hadley - 2012 - NanoEthics 6 (1):41-46.
    Abstract Drawing upon evolutionary theory and the work of Daniel Dennett and Nicholas Agar, I offer an argument for broadening discussion of the ethics of disenhancement beyond animal welfare concerns to a consideration of animal “biopreferences”. Short of rendering animals completely unconscious or decerebrate, it is reasonable to suggest that disenhanced animals will continue to have some preferences. To the extent that these preferences can be understood as what Agar refers to as “plausible naturalizations” for familiar moral concepts like beliefs (...)
  35. Competing Conceptions of Animal Welfare and Their Ethical Implications for the Treatment of Non-Human Animals.Richard Haynes - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (2):105-120.
    Animal welfare has been conceptualized in such a way that the use of animals in science and for food seems justified. I argue that those who have done this have appropriated the concept of animal welfare, claiming to give a scientific account that is more objective than the sentimental account given by animal liberationists. This strategy seems to play a major role in supporting merely limited reform in the use of animals and seems to support the assumption that there are (...)
  36. A Taxonomy Of Knowing: Animals Captive, Free Ranging, And At Liberty.Vicki Hearne - 1995 - Social Research 62.
  37. Chimpanzees as Vulnerable Subjects in Research.Jane Johnson & Neal D. Barnard - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (2):133-141.
    Using an approach developed in the context of human bioethics, we argue that chimpanzees in research can be regarded as vulnerable subjects. This vulnerability is primarily due to communication barriers and situational factors—confinement and dependency—that make chimpanzees particularly susceptible to risks of harm and exploitation in experimental settings. In human research, individuals who are deemed vulnerable are accorded special protections. Using conceptual and moral resources developed in the context of research with vulnerable humans, we show how chimpanzees warrant additional safeguards (...)
  38. Autonomous Pigs.David Judd & James Rocha - 2017 - Ethics and the Environment 22 (1):1-18.
    It is well established that nonhuman animals are sentient, have feelings, have desires, and are conscious. For many of us, some set of those points is sufficient to ground moral duties to nonhuman animals. Yet, others retain doubts about whether humans have such duties. Perhaps these doubters set even higher standards—standards that they believe nonhuman animals are incapable of meeting. The task of this paper is to consider how nonhuman animals fare against an incredibly high standard for moral duties: autonomy. (...)
  39. Nussbaum and the Capacities of Animals.T. J. Kasperbauer - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (5):977-997.
    Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach emphasizes species-specific abilities in grounding our treatment of animals. Though this emphasis provides many action-guiding benefits, it also generates a number of complications. The criticism registered here is that Nussbaum unjustifiably restricts what is allowed into our concept of species norms, the most notable restrictions being placed on latent abilities and those that arise as a result of human intervention. These restrictions run the risk of producing inaccurate or misleading recommendations that fail to correspond to the (...)
  40. Deprivation as Un-Experienced Harm?Külli Keerus, Mickey Gjerris & Helena Röcklinsberg - forthcoming - Society and Animals.
    Tom Regan encapsulated his principle of harm as a prima facie direct duty not to harm experiencing subjects of a life. However, his consideration of harm as deprivation, one example of which is loss of freedom, can easily be interpreted as a harm, which may not be experienced by its subject. This creates a gap between Regan’s criterion for moral status and his account of what our duties are. However, in comparison with three basic paradigms of welfare known in nonhuman (...)
  41. Captivity for Conservation? Zoos at a Crossroads.Jozef Keulartz - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2):335-351.
    This paper illuminates a variety of issues that speak to the question of whether ‘captivity for conservation’ can be an ethically acceptable goal of the modern zoo. Reflecting on both theoretical disagreements and practical challenges , the paper explains why the ‘Noah’s Ark’ paradigm is being replaced by an alternative ‘integrated approach.’ It explores the changes in the zoo’s core tasks that the new paradigm implies. And it pays special attention to the changes that would have to be made in (...)
  42. Born to Be Wild.Irene Klaver, Jozef Keulartz & Henk van den Belt - 2002 - Environmental Ethics 24 (1):3-21.
    With the turning of wilderness areas into wildlife parks and the returning of developed areas of land to the forces of nature, intermediate hybrid realms surface in which wild and managed nature become increasingly entangled. A partitioning of environmental philosophy into ecoethics and animal welfare ethics leaves these mixed territories relatively uncharted—the first dealing with wild, the second with the welfare of captive or domestic animals. In this article, we explore an environmental philosophy that considers explicitly these mixed situations. We (...)
  43. Zoos: A Philosophical Tour.Keekok Lee - 2005 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In this book, Keekok Lee asks the question, "what is an animal, and how does our treatment of it within captivity affect its status as a being ?" This ontological treatment marks the first such approach in looking at animals in captivity. Engaging with the moral questions of zoo-keeping (is it morally justified to keep a wild animal in captivity?) as well as the ontological (what is it that we conserve in zoos after all? A wild animal or its shadow?), (...)
  44. Freedom in Captivity: Managing Zoo Animals According to the ‘Five Freedoms’.Nelly Mäekivi - 2018 - Biosemiotics 11 (1):7-25.
    Animal welfare is a complex matter that includes scientific, ethical, economic and other dimensions. Despite the existence of more comprehensive approaches to animal welfare and the obvious shortcomings of the ‘Five Freedoms’, for zoological gardens the freedoms still constitute the general guidelines to be followed. These guidelines reflect both, an ethical view and a science based approach. Analysis reveals that the potential ineptitude of the ‘Five Freedoms’ lies in the manifold perceptions that people have of other animals. These perceptions are (...)
  45. Modelling Ex Situ Animal Behaviour and Communication.Nelly Mäekivi - 2016 - Biosemiotics 9 (2):207-226.
    Communication and behaviour of animals living ex situ has been one of the major sources of knowledge about wild animals. Nevertheless, it is also acknowledged that depending on the environment that the animals inhabit, there are differences in their communication and behaviour. With some species it is difficult to reproduce their natural environment to an extent that excludes deviations from the behaviour and communication exhibited by animals living in situ. In zoological gardens, welfare measures are introduced in order to counteract (...)
  46. Review The Ethics of Captivity Gruen Lorri Oxford University Press New York, NY.Randy Malamud - 2015 - Journal of Animal Ethics 5 (2):219-222.
  47. Reading Zoos: Representations of Animals and Captivity.Randy Malamud - 1998 - New York University Press.
    A caged animal in the heart of the city, thousands of miles from its natural habitat, neurotically pacing in its confinement . . . Zoos offer a convenient way to indulge a cultural appetite for novelty and diversion, and to teach us, albeit superficially, about animals. Yet what, conversely, do they tell us about the people who create, maintain, and patronize them, and about animal captivity in general? Rather than foster an appreciation for the lives and attributes of animals, zoos, (...)
  48. Strong Claims, Feeble Evidence: A Rejoinder to Falk Et Al.Lori Marino, Randy Malamud, Ron Broglio, Scott O. Lilienfeld & Nathan Nobis - 2011 - Society and Animals 19 (3):291-293.
    The criticisms of Falk et al. are addressed, and the question of whether claims made by Falk et al. are valid is revisited. This rebuttal contends that Falk et al. misconstrue Popper’s role in philosophy of science and hence do not provide a strong test of their hypothesis. Falk et al. claim that they never made causal statements about the impact of zoo and aquarium visits in their 2007 study. Yet, this commentary shows that Falk et al. draw several unsupported, (...)
  49. Live Free or Die. [REVIEW]Joel Marks - 2010 - Animal Law 17 (1):243-250.
    In On Their Own Terms (Darien, CT: Nectar Bat Press, 2010), Lee Hall articulates a theory that wild animals, due to their autonomous nature, are endowed with rights, but domesticated animals lack rights because they are not autonomous. Hall then argues that the rights of wild animals require that humans let them alone, and that, despite the fact that domestic animals lack rights, humans are required to take care of them because it is humans who brought them into existence. While (...)
  50. On Respecting Animals, or Can Animals Be Wronged Without Being Harmed?Angela K. Martin - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-17.
    There is broad agreement that humans can be wronged independently of their incurring any harm, that is, when their welfare is not affected. Examples include unnoticed infringements of privacy, ridiculing unaware individuals, or disregarding individuals’ autonomous decision-making in their best interest. However, it is less clear whether the same is true of animals—that is, whether moral agents can wrong animals in situations that do not involve any harm to the animals concerned. In order to answer this question, I concentrate on (...)
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