Environmental Ethics 1 (2):99-129 (1979)

Abstract
A reciprocity framework is presented as an analysis of morality, and to explain and justify the attribution of moral rights and duties. To say an entity has rights makes sense only if that entity can fulfill reciprocal duties, i.e., can act as a moral agent. To be a moral agent an entity must be self-conscious, understand general principles, have free will, understand the given principles, be physicallycapable of acting, and intend to act according to or against the given principles. This framework is foundational both to empirical and supernatural positions which distinguish a human milieu, which is moral, from a nonhuman milieu, which is not. It also provides a basis for evaluating four standard arguments for the rights ofnonhuman animals and nature-the ecological, the prudential, the sentimental, and the contractual. If reciprocity is taken as being central to the general concepts of rights and duties, then few animals, and no natural objects or natural systems, have rights and duties in an intrinsic or primary sense, although they may be assigned them in an extrinsic or secondary sense as a convenience in connection with human interests. Nevertheless, there are some animals besides humans - e.g., especially chimpanzees, gorillas, dolphins, and dogs - which, in accordance with good behavioral evidence, are moral entities, and sometimes moral agents. On the grounds of reciprocity, they merit, at aminimum, intrinsic or primary rights to life and to relief from unnecessary suffering.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0163-4275
DOI enviroethics19791216
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Can the Treatment of Animals Be Compared to the Holocaust?David Sztybel - 2006 - Ethics and the Environment 11 (1):97-132.
Marginal Humans, The Argument From Kinds, And The Similarity Argument.Julia Tanner - 2006 - Facta Universitatis, Series: Linguistics and Literature 5 (1):47-63.
Children and the Argument From 'Marginal' Cases.Amy Mullin - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):291-305.
Taking Humanism Seriously: ``Obligatory'' Anthropocentrism. [REVIEW]David Sztybel - 2000 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 13 (3-4):181-203.
Unnecessary Pain, Nutrition, and Vegetarianism.Jack Weir - 1991 - Between the Species 7 (1):7.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Assigning Rights to Animals and Nature.Anthony J. Povilitis - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (1):67-71.
On Assigning Rights to Animals and Nature.Anthony J. Povilitis - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (1):67-71.
Justification of Animal Rights Claim.Azam Golam - 2009 - Philosophy and Progress 43 (2):139-152.
The Duty to Aid Nonhuman Animals in Dire Need.John Hadley - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (4):445–451.
The Duty to Aid Nonhuman Animals in Dire Need.John Hadley - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (4):445-451.
Animal Rights, Human Wrongs.Tom Regan - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (2):99-120.
Animal Rights, Human Wrongs.Tom Regan - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (2):99-120.
The Rights of Humans and Other Animals.Tom Regan - 1997 - Ethics and Behavior 7 (2):103 – 111.
The Failure of Theories of Personhood.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1999 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 9 (4):309-324.
Natural Law and Animal Rights.Gary Chartier - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 23 (1):33-46.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
70 ( #164,072 of 2,505,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,206 of 2,505,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes