Environmental Ethics 43 (4):355-377 (2021)

Authors
Jean-Paul Vessel
New Mexico State University
Abstract
Recent decades have witnessed a surge in philosophical attention to the moral standing of non-human animals. Kantians, Neo-Kantians, utilitarians, and radical animal rights theorists have staked their claims in the literature. Here Fred Feldman’s desert-adjusted utilitarianism is introduced into the fray. After canvassing the prominent competitors in the dialectic, a conception of an overall moral ranking consonant with desert-adjusted utilitarianism is developed. Then the conception’s implications regarding the particular locations of individual people and animals in such rankings across various scenarios is explored. Ultimately, it is argued that when it comes to evaluating whether or not some benefit morally ought to be bestowed upon some specific person or animal, this new conception of an overall moral ranking is sensitive to a wider range of morally relevant phenomena than its more prominent competitors.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Social and Political Philosophy  Social Science
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DOI 10.5840/enviroethics20223935
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