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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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The Contemporary Debate in Animal Ethics

The Contemporary Debate in Animal Ethics

(p.319) Chapter Twelve The Contemporary Debate in Animal Ethics

Robert Garner

Oxford University Press

This final chapter explores the range of ideas current in the contemporary animal ethics debate. Much of the chapter is devoted to documenting the critique of the animal welfare ethic, which holds that, while animals have moral standing, humans, being persons, have a superior moral status. Three different strands of this critique—based on utilitarian, rights, and contractarian approaches—are identified and explored. The final part of the chapter documents the fragmentation of the animal ethics debate in recent years. This has included a more nuanced position which seeks to decouple animal rights from abolitionism, accounts of animal ethics from virtue ethics and capabilities perspectives, and a relational turn associated with the feminist care ethic tradition and, more recently, the utilization of citizenship theory by Donaldson and Kymlicka.

Keywords:   moral philosophy, ethics, animal welfare, Peter Singer, Tom Regan, ethics of care

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