By Tom Regan
What supplies an animal 'rights?' What makes product checking out on animals fallacious? In Animal Rights, Human Wrongs widespread activist and thinker Tom Regan skillfully places forth the argument for animal rights during the exploration of 2 questions important to ethical concept: What makes an act correct? What makes an act fallacious? bearing in mind ethical theories corresponding to contractarianism, utilitarianism, and Kantian ethics, Regan presents the theoretical framework that grounds a accountable pro-animal rights point of view, and finally explores how asking ethical questions about different animals can result in a greater figuring out of ourselves. the need of creating a transition from ethical idea to ethical perform turns into startlingly transparent as Reagan examines the normal, daily offerings that may be suffering from believing in an ethical conception that affirms the rights of animals. For the various those who have ever questioned 'what distinction does it make if animals have rights,' Animal Rights, people Wrongs presents a provocative and fascinating resolution. For a dialogue of animal rights adapted to a extra common viewers, see Empty Cages: dealing with the problem of Animal Rights (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).
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Extra resources for Animal Rights, Human Wrongs: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy
What Darwin means, I think, is that these animals are like us in having a rich, unified mental life. Darwin himself catalogs the mental attributes he finds in other mammals, basing his findings on his own and others’ observations of their behavior. It is an impressive list, including (in addition to the capacity to experience pleasure and pain [sentiency]) such emotions as terror, suspicion, courage, rage, shame, jealousy, grief, love, and affection, and such higher order cognitive abilities as curiosity, attention, memory, imagination, and reason.
While each is essential, none succeeds in unifjrlng the core concept. By contrast, the idea of respect succeeds in doing this. The rights discussed in this chapter (life, liberty, and bodily integrity) are variations on a main theme, that theme being respect. From the perspective of human rights proponents, 1 show my respect for you by respecting these rights in your life, and you show your respect for me by doing the same thing in my life. Respect is the main theme because treating one another with respectjust is treating one another in ways that respect our other rights.
One influential explanation favored by some philosophers grants that we have duties inuoluing animals but denies that we have any duties to them. It will be useful to give a name to moral theories of this type. For reasons that will become clearer as we proceed, I refer to them as indirect duty views. The present chapter examines two views of this type (simple and Rawlsian contractarianism) and explains why, in the end, despite the important contributions they make, all indirect duty views are and must be unsatisfactory.