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AnimalsA History$
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Peter Adamson and G. Fay Edwards

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199375967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199375967.001.0001

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Governing Darwin’s World

Governing Darwin’s World

(p.269) Chapter Ten Governing Darwin’s World

Philip Kitcher

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes Darwin to have posed a new question for moral and social theory: How is the organic world described in the Origin of Species to be governed? Darwin also pointed toward a way of addressing that question. The Descent of Man, with its emphasis on the continuity between our species and the rest of the animal kingdom, indicates a new approach to ethics. After exploring Darwin’s defense of the continuity thesis, this chapter focuses on the connection between ethical practice and nonhuman animal behavior, outlining a contractualist ethics. It then considers how to apply that form of ethics to the governance of the animal world. Finally, the special responsibilities that we humans have toward the animals with whom we regularly interact are considered in the context of animal testing.

Keywords:   Darwin, evolution, animal welfare, animal testing, morality

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