CGS HU 201 Study Guide - Spring 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Soul, Plato, Aristotle

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CGS HU 201
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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Bates’s essay on 19th century vivisection
Summary:
Vivisectors claimed they deliberately suppressed their feelings to perform scientifically
necessary experiments: where there was reason, there could be no cruelty
In pioneering essay on vivisection anita guerrini: the debate is a predominantly
anthropocentric one in which the suffering of animals and their rights or interests were
less important than the effects of vivisection on the experimenter’s morals and reputation
People of the lower classes were thought to treat animals cruelly because they lacked
feeling or actually enjoyed seeing them suffer
Argument was that cruelty to animals led to violence against humans
Chief concern was not the suffering of the victim but the intentions behind the
perpetrator
Experiments on living animals were uncommon in the 1820s (fewer than 1,000 a year)
and british medical men were said to have a “horror” of them
“Necessary” experiments that might significantly advance knowledge were usually
regarded as acceptable and proponents of experimentation
Relatively few englishmen who did vivisect (marshall hall, james blundell, etc) distanced
themselves from criticism by experimenting privately, publishing their work only in
professional journals and following an apparently predetermined line of investigation
Moral rectitude was judged on a person’s character and motivation rather than
adherence to inflexible rules of action
Drummond accepted that just as eating animals or destroying vermin could be
acceptable for reasons of health and cleanliness, so vivisection was justified if prompted
by laudable desires such as improving health or acquiring knowledge
Similar to debates on human cadaveric dissection
Classnotes:
Vivisection: the act of cutting into something that is live for medical research
Virtue ethics: emphasizes the character
Moral virtue: everyday/habitual practice, generosity and kindness
Build character
Real issue with vivisection is: is it ethical/alright to cut open an animal awake/alive for
the sake of science?
Do animals have rights? Do the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few? What
does this say about the doctor’s character?
Normative ethics: why we act and do what we do-- abstract and conceptual
Virtue ethics
Good ethical ways will come naturally if you have a virtuous character
Concerned with the agents rather than the actions: with the person and that
person’s motivations
Applied ethics: how do we weigh and evaluate why we need to think about our different
interests?
The morality of actual real life situations
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Relates to how we deal with the often difficult choices we may have to make in
our real lives-- things we really face
Peter Singer: australian philosopher, knows for utilitarian approach to applied ethics and
theories about animal rights
1975: animal liberation
Grandin’s short essay on animals
Although animals are currently considered property the law grants them rights
The basic design of the nervous system and the neural mechanisms that process fear
and pain are similar in humans and other mammals
Protections from suffering must be increased for animals
Animals are not things, but there is probably a point where legally protecting an
organism from pain and fear should cease
All animals are different
They will need different legal protections than animals with simpler nervous
systems
The degree of protection and environmental and social enrichment an animal will
require will be dependent on the level of complexity of its nervous system
Preserving the organisms that aren’t capable of suffering is important too
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Document Summary

Vivisectors claimed they deliberately suppressed their feelings to perform scientifically necessary experiments: where there was reason, there could be no cruelty. In pioneering essay on vivisection anita guerrini: the debate is a predominantly anthropocentric one in which the suffering of animals and their rights or interests were less important than the effects of vivisection on the experimenter"s morals and reputation. People of the lower classes were thought to treat animals cruelly because they lacked feeling or actually enjoyed seeing them suffer. Argument was that cruelty to animals led to violence against humans. Chief concern was not the suffering of the victim but the intentions behind the perpetrator. Experiments on living animals were uncommon in the 1820s (fewer than 1,000 a year) and british medical men were said to have a horror of them. Necessary experiments that might significantly advance knowledge were usually regarded as acceptable and proponents of experimentation.

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