Animal Ethics in Context

Kobo ebook | December 5, 2010

byClare Palmer

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It's widely agreed that because animals feel pain we should not make them suffer gratuitously. Some ethical theories go even further: because of the capacities animals possess, they have a right not to be harmed or killed. Such views concern what not to do to animals, but we also face the question of what we should do to assist the ones that may be hungry or distressed. And if we do, say, feed a starving kitten, does this commit us to feeding wild animals suffering through a hard winter?

In this controversial book, Clare Palmer claims that, with respect to assisting animals, what's owed to one animal is not necessarily owed to all, even if they share similar capacities. Context and relation are crucial ethical factors. If animals live independently in the wild, their fate is none of our moral business, but if humans create dependent animals, or destroy animals' habitats, we may have special obligations to assist. Such arguments are familiar in human cases-parents have special obligations to their children, for example, or some groups owe reparations to others they have harmed. Palmer develops such relational concerns in the context of wild animals, domesticated animals, and urban scavengers, arguing that different contexts create very different moral relationships.

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From the Publisher

It's widely agreed that because animals feel pain we should not make them suffer gratuitously. Some ethical theories go even further: because of the capacities animals possess, they have a right not to be harmed or killed. Such views concern what not to do to animals, but we also face the question of what we should do to assist the one...

Clare Palmer studied at Oxford University and is professor of philosophy at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Environmental Ethics and Process Thinking and has edited a number of volumes, including Animal Rights, and is a former president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics.

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:December 5, 2010Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231503024

ISBN - 13:9780231503020

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Animals' Capacities and Moral Status
2. Capacity-Oriented Accounts of Animal Ethics
3. Capacities, Contexts, and Relations
4. Wildness, Domestication, and the Laissez-faire Intuition
5. Developing a New, Relational Approach
6. Past Harms and Special Obligations
7. Some Problems and Questions
8. Puzzling Through Some Cases
Conclusion
Works Cited
Index

Editorial Reviews

It makes an original and important contribution to the philosophical literature on animal ethics and would make an excellent textbook for an introductory philosophy course in animal ethics, as it introduces readers to a range of theories, problems, and arguments as well as developing the author's own thought-provoking position.