Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions

Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions

Cass R. Sunstein, Martha C. Nussbaum

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0195305108

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum bring together an all-star cast of contributors to explore the legal and political issues that underlie the campaign for animal rights and the opposition to it. Addressing ethical questions about ownership, protection against unjustified suffering, and the ability of animals to make their own choices free from human control, the authors offer numerous different perspectives on animal rights and animal welfare. They show that whatever one's ultimate conclusions, the relationship between human beings and nonhuman animals is being fundamentally rethought. This book offers a state-of-the-art treatment of that rethinking.

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natural stimuli, such as images of the heads of other pigeons, they did show recognition of the occluded images (Watanabe and Ito, ). The experimental results with primates have been variable, one study of a chimpanzee showing that it could recognize an object from its parts (Sato, Kanazawa, and Fujita, ), another showing that a species of baboon (Papio papio) can do it too (Deruelle et al., ), and one finding that Japanese macaques cannot complete the image to see it as a whole

suffer?2 John Stuart Mill concurred, repeating the analogy to slavery.3 Few people accept that particular analogy; many people find it offensive. But since the early s, the animal rights question has moved from the periphery and toward the center of political and legal debate. The debate is fully international. In , Germany became the first European nation to vote to guarantee animal rights in its constitution, adding the words “and animals” to a clause that obliges the state to respect and

pragmatism, close it? Should not pragmatists therefore be animal liberationists? There are three misunderstandings here. The first is the conflation of philosophical and everyday pragmatism. The proposition that people are clever animals is part of the philosophical side of pragmatism; it is related to the distinctive pragmatic conception of inquiry and the associated pragmatic rejection of metaphysical realism. Second, it is arbitrary to draw a normative inference from a biological fact (or

nonaggression could lead to the extermination of predator species. But, if animals have rights, then how do we avoid making these second-tier judgments? We could argue that animals should not be restrained because they are not moral agents because they do not have the deliberative capacity to tell right from wrong, and therefore cannot be bound by rules that they can neither articulate nor criticize nor defend. But at this point we must ask whether we  C U R R E N T D E B AT E S could use

just that. Such is our lot, and perhaps our desire, as human beings. NOTES . Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies  (New York & London, W. W. Norton & Co. ). The entire book offers a rich and powerful explanation of the patterns of domestication and should be required reading for anyone interested in this subject. . Id. . Barry Nicholas, An Introduction to Roman Law  (Oxford, Clarendon Press ).  ANIMALS AS OBJECTS, OR SUBJECTS, OF RIGHTS . For

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