A man and a dog in a lifeboat: Self-sacrifice, animals, and the limits of ethical theory

Ethics and the Environment 14 (1):pp. 129-148 (2009)
Abstract
In discussions of animal ethics, hypothetical scenarios are often used to try to force the clarification of intuitions about the relative value of human and animal life. Tom Regan requests, for example, that we imagine a man and a dog adrift in a lifeboat while Peter Singer explains why the life of one's child ought to be preferred to that of the family dog in the event of a house fire. I argue that such scenarios are not the usefully abstract analytic tools they purport to be, but indirectly reinforce assumptions that are not only anthropocentric, but also tied to racist, sexist and ethnocentric stereotypes. An analysis of some of the cultural and ethical associations of the notion of self-sacrifice proves especially useful in revealing some of the limitations of certain popular Western approaches to animal ethics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2979/ETE.2009.14.1.129
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,224
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Attitudes to Animals: Views in Animal Welfare.Francine L. Dolins (ed.) - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
I ♥ My Dog.Kennan Ferguson - 2004 - Political Theory 32 (3):373-395.
New Dog: Old Tricks.Mark Greene - 2002 - Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 5 (3):239-242.
Regan on the Lifeboat Problem: A Defense.Julian H. Franklin - 2001 - Environmental Ethics 23 (2):189-201.
Sinking the Research Lifeboat.Susan Finsen - 1988 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 13 (2):197-212.
Added to PP index
2009-05-13

Total downloads
107 ( #48,055 of 2,191,994 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #289,023 of 2,191,994 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature