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The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights / Edition 1
     

The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights / Edition 1

by Paola Cavalieri, Catherine Woollard
 

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ISBN-10: 0195173651

ISBN-13: 9780195173659

Pub. Date: 01/15/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press

How much should animals count, morally? Can we defend the continued use of nonhuman animals for food, labor, entertainment, and research? In this landmark contribution to a debate that has raged since the 1970s, ethicist Paola Cavalieri argues not only that many animals should be granted full moral status but also that we are compelled to do so by the most powerful,

Overview

How much should animals count, morally? Can we defend the continued use of nonhuman animals for food, labor, entertainment, and research? In this landmark contribution to a debate that has raged since the 1970s, ethicist Paola Cavalieri argues not only that many animals should be granted full moral status but also that we are compelled to do so by the most powerful, widely held moral doctrine in existence.

Cavalieri proposes that we extend basic human rights to most of the nonhuman animals that we currently treat as mere things. She contends that the logic of universal human rights doctrine -- a set of beliefs about what human beings are owed morally that nearly all of us accept -- points in the direction of including many nonhuman animals.

In framing her deeply controversial argument, she traces the roots of the animal rights debate in the fields of contemporary ethics and science and examines precedents for it in mainstream Western philosophy. Next she considers the current leading proposals for reforming the way we think about the moral status of animals. Emphasizing that these proposals all derive their core premises from a specific, rather than broadly shared, ethical perspective, she then develops her own radical view that in spite of the phrase that defines them, human rights are not the prerogative of the species Homo sapiens.

The history of what we call moral progress, argues Cavalieri, can for the most part be seen as the history of replacing hierarchical visions with presumptions in favor of equality. The animal question, then, is a profoundly important one -- and our pursuit of answers is part of a vital, ongoing cultural evolution.

Greeted with acclaim on its release in Italy in 1999, The Animal Question is sure to stimulate vigorous debate in the English-speaking world. It makes essential reading for animal rights advocates and will engage all those concerned with the nature, scope, and language of contemporary ethics and the legal system.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195173659
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/15/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

1The Cultural Premises3
A Problem for Political Philosophy: How to Establish Human Equality4
Bioethical Dilemmas: Who Is Human?7
After Behaviorism, or How Animal Minds Started to Exist Again12
2The Problem of Moral Status23
Moral Agents and Moral Patients28
In Search of the Criteria31
Inclusion in the Moral Community32
3The Traditional Accounts41
Absolute Dismissal, or Descartes and God's Clocks41
The Superiority of Rational Nature: How Kant Created Humanism47
Ethics Makes a Turn: Utilitarianism59
After the Inclusion67
4Speciesism69
Traditional Speciesism: Attributing Weight to Biological Characteristics71
The Correspondence Approach: Species as a Mark of the Morally Relevant Characteristics73
An Attempt to Grant Paradigmatic Status to Nonparadigmatic Humans76
Retreat: Comparable Status, Different Treatment79
5Welfare and the Value of Life87
Welfare88
When Killing Is Wrong101
The Value of Life: Qualitative Theories105
The Value of Life: Quantitative Theories109
Internal Perspectives on Prudential Value113
An Open Problem116
The Notion of Person as an Alternative Solution?117
6A Minimal Normative Proposal125
Human Rights: Sphere of Reference125
Human Rights: Essential Characteristics128
Human Rights: Justification131
For an Expanded Theory of Human Rights137
Notes145
Bibliography165
Index175

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