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A comparison between humans and plants from the perspective of moral philosophy

Duty and the Beast. John Benson - 1978 - Philosophy 53 206: They are killed for food, employed for labour or sport, and experimented on in the pursuit of human health, knowledge, comfort and beauty.

The Moral Status of Animals

Lip-service is paid to the obligation to cause no unnecessary suffering, but human necessity is interpreted so generously that this is a negligible constraint. The dominant traditions of Western thought, religious and secular, have provided legitimation of the low or non-existent moral status of. The rival tradition, which includes the Neo-Platonists, Plutarch and Montaigne, is eccentric and archaic.

  • Original is Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht, published in the standard Akademie der Wissenschaften edition, volume 27;
  • If an animal lived a happy life and was painlessly killed and then eaten by people who would otherwise suffer hunger or malnutrition by not eating the animal, then painlessly killing and eating the animal would be the morally justified thing to do;
  • Philosophers Elisa Aaltola and Lori Gruen have argued for refining our empathetic imagination in order to improve our relationships with each other and other animals;
  • Appealing to side-effects when it comes to the wrong of killing is certainly plausible, but it fails to capture what is directly wrong with killing.

But the teleologies and hierarchies of orthodoxy are equally incredible now and owe their greater respectability and influence to the inertia of custom. Disregard for beasts is supported partly by the vestigial and unowned belief that they are intended for our use, partly by a more recent piece of lore which is not only thought to be compatible with, but is sometimes held to be integral to, an enlightened scientific outlook, namely that beasts are mere complex stimulus—response mechanisms.

The latter is a vexatious obstacle to progress but despite that the state of scientific and philosophical knowledge is now enormously more propitious for a re-appraisal of the moral status of beasts.

  • Lip-service is paid to the obligation to cause no unnecessary suffering, but human necessity is interpreted so generously that this is a negligible constraint;
  • The dominant traditions of Western thought, religious and secular, have provided legitimation of the low or non-existent moral status of;;;
  • But, on this other track;
  • Photo by Janet Cameron, all rights reserved.

Two moral philosophers, Peter Singer and Stephen Clark, have recently published books in which such a re-appraisal is attempted. Here I try to compare and assess some of the main features of their very different approaches.

Ted Benton - 2003 - Society and Animals 11 1: This sort of engagement is valuable for three main reasons. First, the more narrowly focused social movement activitywhether committed to animal rights, social justice in the workplace, or advancement for womenis liable to cut itself off from critical insights created in the context of other movements. I became aware of this, particularly during.

  1. Chimps and other great apes clearly possess an autobiographical self, as they are able to prepare themselves for future actions… they likely can, just as humans, be in pain over an anticipated future event that has yet to occur. Broad-based coalitions are needed.
  2. Some people, who had no problem taking the utilitarian action in the first instance, were less willing to sacrifice the one man for the five, in the second example.
  3. I began to see [my attitudes] that related to my conception of flesh-foods as unnecessary, greedy, self-indulgent, childish, my attitude to shopping and cooking in order to produce lavish dinner parties as parochial, gross, even dissolute.

Second, this sort of analysis is valuable because without it "single-issue" movements run a serious risk of advancing the claims of their own preferred social group at the cost of usually unknowingly and unintentionally deepening the oppression or exploitation of other groups. Third, where radical social movements campaign for changes that conflict with the interests of wealthy and powerful interests, and are committed to democratic values, they need to be able to bring public opinion with them.

Single-issue movements rarely can do this on their own: Broad-based coalitions are needed. Moreover, the sources of radical thought and the range of justified grievances are now so diverse that the notion of a single, unified political party as the centralized vehicle of change is no longer viable if it ever was. So, the broadly based coalition has to be diverse and difference-respecting. But can it be this while still maintaining enough unity of purpose and coordination of its actions to be effective?

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Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. Copyright applies to alls ; Perlo's engagement with the complex and ambiguous relationship between Marxism and, more broadly, the socialist traditions and the moral status of animals is very much to be welcomed.

I became aware of this, particularly during the 1980s in relation to radical green politics, as both deepening and widening the already existing socialist case against neo-liberal capitalism, just as the women's liberation movement had done a decade or more earlier.

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