Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):216-226 (2015)

Christopher Grau
Clemson University
Jeff McMahan has long shown himself to be a vigorous and incisive critic of speciesism, and in his essay “Our Fellow Creatures” he has been particularly critical of speciesist arguments that draw inspiration from Wittgenstein. In this essay I consider his arguments against speciesism generally and the species-norm account of deprivation in particular. I argue that McMahan's ethical framework is more nuanced and more open to the incorporation of speciesist intuitions regarding deprivation than he himself suggests. Specifically, I argue that, given his willingness to include a comparative dimension in his “Intrinsic Potential Account” he ought to recognize species as a legitimate comparison class. I also argue that a sensible speciesism can be pluralist and flexible enough to accommodate many of McMahan's arguments in defense of “moral individualist” intuitions. In this way, I hope to make the case for at least a partial reconciliation between McMahan and the “Wittgensteinian speciesists”, e.g. Cora Diamond, Stephen Mulhall, and Raimond Gaita
Keywords speciesism  animal rights  humanism  Wittgenstein  Jeff McMahan
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DOI 10.1111/sjp.12100
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References found in this work BETA

The Human Prejudice.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline.
The Importance of Being Human.Cora Diamond - 1991 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 29:35-62.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Sensible Speciesism?Christopher Grau - 2016 - Philosophical Inquiries 4 (1):49-70.
Especismo.Ricardo Miguel - 2020 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
Cognitive Disability and Moral Status.David Wasserman - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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