In Ben Bramble & Bob Fischer (eds.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 118-134 (2016)

Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University
Philosophers have offered several apparently powerful arguments against the permissibility of eating meat. However, the idea that it is okay to eat meat can seem like a bit of ethical common sense. This paper examines the attempt to adapt one of the most influential philosophical defenses of common sense –G. E. Moore’s case against the skeptic andthe idealist –in support of the omnivore. I first introduce and explain Moore’s argument against the skeptic. I then explain how that argument can be adapted to address two influential philosophical arguments against the omnivore, due to Tom Regan and James Rachels. The adapted Moorean arguments appear strikingly similar to the original. However, I argue that we should not simply assume that all Moorean arguments are created equal. Instead, I propose a set of principled criteria that can be used to test Moorean arguments on a case-by-case basis. Those criteria give the Moorean reason for optimism against the skeptic, but suggest that the Moorean’s case is much weaker against the ethical vegetarian. I conclude that the Moorean omnivore’s argument has potentially uncomfortable implications for all sides in debates about ethical vegetarianism, and illuminates important and neglected questions about the force of philosophical arguments in applied ethics.
Keywords common sense  Moorean arguments  omnivorism  vegetarianism
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References found in this work BETA

The Question of Realism.Kit Fine - 2001 - Philosophers' Imprint 1:1-30.
Running Risks Morally.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):141-163.
Moral Disagreement and Moral Expertise.Sarah McGrath - 2008 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 87-108.
Abortion and Moral Risk1: D. Moller.D. Moller - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (3):425-443.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ethical Basis for Veganism.Tristram McPherson - 2018 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Animal Rights and Incredulous Stares.Bob Fischer - 2017 - Between the Species 20 (1).

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