When the tail wags the dog: Animal welfare and indirect duty in Kantian ethics

Kantian Review 10:128-149 (2005)
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Even the most sympathetic readers of Kant's moral philosophy usually disagree with him about some aspect of his theory, or some particular moral judgement. His unqualified condemnation of lying in the essay ‘On a supposed right to lie from philanthropy’ is a classical case in question, as is his strong endorsement of retributive justice and the death penalty. A third prominent source of discontent are Kant's repeated verdicts on the moral status of non-human animals, or rather the lack thereof. For, despite the fact that his practical recommendations in this field are sensible and even progressive, he repeatedly insists that there are no direct duties to animals, that the well-being of animals is morally indifferent, in particular that we ought to treat animals decently solely for the sake of humanity. As a result, the foundations of his advice seem morally inadequate, even offensive



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Jens Timmermann
University of St. Andrews

References found in this work

Ethics and practical reason.Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.) - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Kant on Duties Regarding Nonrational Nature.Allen W. Wood - 1998 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):189–210.
I_– _Allen W. Wood.Allen W. Wood - 1998 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):189-210.

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