Facing Animals: A Relational, Other-Oriented Approach to Moral Standing

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (5):715-733 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this essay we reflect critically on how animal ethics, and in particular thinking about moral standing, is currently configured. Starting from the work of two influential “analytic” thinkers in this field, Peter Singer and Tom Regan, we examine some basic assumptions shared by these positions and demonstrate their conceptual failings—ones that have, despite efforts to the contrary, the general effect of marginalizing and excluding others. Inspired by the so-called “continental” philosophical tradition , we then argue that what is needed is a change in the rules of the game, a change of the question. We alter the normative question from “What properties does the animal have?” to “What are the conditions under which an entity becomes a moral subject?” This leads us to consider the role of language, personal relations, and material-technological contexts. What is needed then in response to the moral standing problem, is not more of the same—yet another, more refined criterion and argumentation concerning moral standing, or a “final” rational argumentation that would be able to settle the animal question once and for all—but a turning or transformation in both our thinking about and our relations to animals, through language, through technology, and through the various place-ordering practices in which we participate

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Biocentric Ethics and Animal Prosperity.A. T. Anchustegui - 2005 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (1):105-119.
A Vindication of the Rights of Machines.David J. Gunkel - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (1):113-132.
The failure of theories of personhood.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1999 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 9 (4):309-324.
Thinking otherwise: Ethics, technology and other subjects.David J. Gunkel - 2007 - Ethics and Information Technology 9 (3):165-177.
Animal rights: moral theory and practice.Mark Rowlands - 2009 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Levinas and Our Moral Responsibility Toward Other Animals.Peter Atterton - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (6):633 - 649.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-01-28

Downloads
143 (#130,782)

6 months
21 (#126,261)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Mark Coeckelbergh
University of Vienna
David Gunkel
Northern Illinois University

References found in this work

How to do things with words.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. Edited by Marina Sbisá & J. O. Urmson.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.Jeremy Bentham - 1780 - New York: Dover Publications. Edited by J. H. Burns & H. L. A. Hart.
Totality and infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh,: Duquesne University Press.

View all 36 references / Add more references