PHIL 296 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Reflective Equilibrium, Sentience
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Friday, February 26, y
Animals and the Social Contract
-Appeals to Nature
•Its natural to eat meat, therefore is good to eat meat
•Its natural for lions to eat meat, therefore its good for humans to eat meat
-While some things that ate natural are good, not all things that are natural are
good. ex viruses, cancer, earthquakes, death.
-Animals do things that are natural that would not be acceptable for humans. ex.
killing their young, having sex in public.
-Conversely, some things that are artificial are not bad: antibiotics, technology
-If I was alone on a desert island, would it be permissible for me to eat another
animal? or Is it permissible for people who live in extreme arctic regions to kill and eat
animals for survival?
•The fact that it might be permissible to violate a moral principle in one set of
circumstances does not show that we ought not abide by the moral principle
generally or that the principle is invalid.
•We do not live in an extreme climate and therefore we have a choice.
-Social Contract Theory (Contractarianism)
•Justice as fairness is a “theory of justice that generalizes and carries to a higher
level of abstraction the tradition conception of the social contract.
•A type of normative framework employed to justify moral norms or political
-Involves the free and rational agreement of contracting parties.
-We ought to go that which free and rational parties could or would have agreed
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