Animals and the Social Contract

Environmental Ethics 30 (2):195-207 (2008)

Kimberly Smith
Open University (UK)
In The Frontiers of Justice, Martha Nussbaum argues that social contract theory cannot accommodate political duties to animals because it requires the parties to the contract to enjoy rough physical and mental equality. Her interpretation of the social contract tradi­tion is unpersuasive; social contract theory requires only that the parties be equally free and deserving of moral consideration. Moreover, social contract theory is superior to her capabilities approach in that it allows us to limit the scope of the community of justice to animals we are capable of recognizing as subjects of justice and with whom we have a political relationship.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0163-4275
DOI 10.5840/enviroethics20083026
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Nussbaum and the Capacities of Animals.T. J. Kasperbauer - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (5):977-997.
A Pluralist–Expressivist Critique of the Pet Trade.Kimberly K. Smith - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (3):241-256.

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