Ryder's Painism and His Criticism of Utilitarianism

As a member of the British Oxford Group, psychologist Richard Ryder marked the beginning of the modern animal rights and animal welfare movement in the seventies. By introducing the concept “speciesism.” Ryder contributed importantly to the expansion of this movement. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to Ryder’s moral theory, “painism”, that aims to resolve the conflict between the two predominant rival theories in animal ethics, the deontological of Tom Regan and the utilitarian of Peter Singer. First, this paper examines the kernel and historical sources of Ryder’s painist theory, linking it to the work of John Rawls and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Second, it examines Ryder’s critique of utilitarianism. It is argued that his critique of Singer’s use of the word “sentience” is unconvincing and that his critique of utilitarian aggregation as not taking a full account of the metaphysical separateness of persons, has already been countered and dealt with. Finally this paper looks at some of the counterintuitive implications of Ryder’s theory and argues that utilitarianism might have more resources for dealing with its own alleged counterintuitive implications than Ryder acknowledges
Keywords Richard Ryder  Painism  Animal ethics  Utilitarianism  Aggregation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-012-9381-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,756
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1990 - Avon Books.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Painism: Some Moral Rules for the Civilized Experimenter.Richard D. Ryder - 1999 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (1):35-42.
The Ethics of Pain.Richard D. Ryder - 2003 - The Philosophers' Magazine 23 (23):40-42.
Neurosemantics: A Theory.Dan Ryder - 2002 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The Implications of Ordinality.John Ryder - 2004 - Newsletter of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy 32 (98):19-23.
Foreword.John Ryder - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):2-3.
Philip Ii.T. T. B. Ryder - 1994 - The Classical Review 44 (01):102-.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

62 ( #85,569 of 2,177,988 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #317,698 of 2,177,988 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums