PHIL 224, Week 2
Major ethical theories:
- consequentialism (teleological)
- rights and duties (deontological)
Possible synthesis: Needs-based consequentialism
- Anthropocentrism: concern only with humans
- Presentism: neglect of future generations
Change: If you do topic 2 on animal extinction, the assignment MUST be handed in by Sept. 29.
Consequentialist arguments for vegetarianism
- Not eating animals avoids environmental damage and depletion.
- Vegetarianism makes people healthier.
- Vegetarianism reduces world hunger.
- Raising animals for food causes animal suffering.
Rights & duties arguments for vegetarianism
- People have a duty to look after their health (Fox).
- Animals have rights because they suffer (Singer).
- Animals have rights because they are "bearers of life" (Regan).
Value map for being vegetarian
- How good are the arguments for vegetarianism?
- Which arguments would support being vegan (no dairy products)?
- Are non-human animals capable of pain, consciousness, beliefs, interests, self-awareness?
- Is assignment of rights to animals an example of anthropomorphism (the inaccurate attribution of human characteristics to non-humans)?
- What would be people's ethical obligations to intelligent extraterrestrials?
Arguments against native hunting
- Non-human animals have rights to life.
- Non-human animals suffer if hunted.
Arguments for native hunting
- Aboriginals have needs for food and subsistence.
- Aboriginals have rights to their traditional cultures.
- Are their cultural rights?
- How can we adjudicate conflicts between cultures and/or species?
Review Questions for Week 2
- State the consequentialist argument for being vegetarian based on environmental effects, and one response.
- State the animal rights argument for being vegetarian, and one response.
- State the consequentialist argument for and against native hunting.
- State rights-based arguments for and against native hunting.
- What is the difference between anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism?
- How does Fox think that duties to oneself support vegetarianism?
- What ethical reasons does Donner think are relevant to seal hunting by natives?
- Essay: Considering consequentialist arguments for and against, should people be vegetarians?
- Essay: Considering rights-based arguments for and against, should people be vegetarians?
- Essay: Considering arguments for and against, should natives hunt?
This page updated Sept. 22, 2011