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Lecture

Animal Rights march 6.docx


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHILOS 1B03
Professor
Stefan Rodde

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Animal Rights? February 6, 2013
- What is the basis for our ethical obligations towards animals?
- How far do these obligations extend?
Singer
- The interests of animals are entitles to equal consideration to the interests of
humans
Singer’s Two-Part Argument
- Being entitled to equal consideration of interests is not based on factual equality
- Being entitled to equal consideration of interests is based on capacity for suffering
- These two points support the idea that the interests of animals should be treated
equally to those of humans
Steinbock
- It is wrong to be cruel to animals
- But if there is an end, which is “very good” for humans can only be accomplished
through pain and suffering of animal, it is justified
Steinbock’s rejection of Signer
- Some factual differences between humans and animals are relevant to whether
animals should be treated equally to humans
- The mere capacity to suffer is not sufficient for equality of treatment
What’s so Special about Humans?
- What capacity do humans possess that makes our interests more valuable than
those of animals?
- A certain threshold of intelligence that enables us to perform morally significant
activities
- HB are responsible for their actions
- HB are capable of reciprocation
- HB are capable of altruistic action
- HB can be reasoned with
Pain and Suffering
- Both humans and animals are capable of experiencing P&S
- But only with humans does P&S hinder moral activity
Problems
- Are there any problems with grounding equality on a certain threshold of
intelligence?
- What about people who fall bellow that threshold
Mental Incompetence
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