Schopenhauer on the Rights of Animals

European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):250-269 (2017)
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Abstract

I argue that Schopenhauer’s ascription of (moral) rights to animals flows naturally from his distinctive analysis of the concept of a right. In contrast to those who regard rights as fundamental and then cast wrongdoing as a matter of violating rights, he takes wrong (Unrecht) to be the more fundamental notion and defines the concept of a right (Recht) in its terms. He then offers an account of wrongdoing which makes it plausible to suppose that at least many animals can be wronged and thus, by extension, have rights. The result, I argue, is a perspective on the nature of moral rights in general, and the idea of animal rights in particular, that constitutes an important and plausible alternative to the more familiar views advanced by philosophers in recent decades.

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Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Taking rights seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - London: Duckworth.
The case for animal rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring ethics: an introductory anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.
Reflections on the Revolution in France.Edmund Burke - 2009 - London: Oxford University Press.

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