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How Should We Conceptualize Moral Disagreements About Animals?, Kristian Cantens Jan 2017

How Should We Conceptualize Moral Disagreements About Animals?, Kristian Cantens

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

I intend this paper as a sort of philosophical reflection on my experiences as an animal activist. In my three years of doing outreach on college campuses, I came to an increasing appreciation for what Murdoch referred to as “the difficulty and complexity of the moral life and the opacity of persons” (Murdoch 1998d, 293). This appreciation came in turn at the cost of an increasing disappointment with many of the philosophers I admired at the time – namely, Peter Singer and Tom Regan. What I came to understand is that many of these contemporary moral theories were in fact inadequate ...


Precaution, Proportionality And Proper Commitments, Colin Klein Jan 2017

Precaution, Proportionality And Proper Commitments, Colin Klein

Animal Sentience

Birch’s extension of the precautionary principle (PP) is plausible but raises issues about how proportionality ought to be incorporated into law. Following Steel (2013), I suggest that the PP is best considered as a meta-norm, and as such any resulting laws are likely to lack the fineness of grain that we would hope to achieve. To fill the gap, I suggest a parallel with the ethics of studying looted artifacts.