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21. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Dan Perry Animal Rights and Environmental Wrongs: The Case of the Grey Squirrel in Northern Italy
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Alien species are considered by conservation biologists to be a major threat to biodiversity. To deal with alien invasions, they often recommend completely eradicating the invasive species. Animal rights groups have continually opposed eradication campaigns, sometimes successfully. One such case was the attempted eradication of the grey squirrel from northern Italy.
22. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Steven F. Sapontzis What’s More Important?
23. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Elisa Aaltola The Moral Value of Animals: Three Versions Based on Altruism
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As it comes to animal ethics, broad versions of contractualism are often used as a reason for excluding animals from the category of those with moral value in the individualistic sense. Ideas of “reciprocity” and “moral agency” are invoked to show that only those capable of understanding and respecting the value of others may have value themselves. Because of this, possible duties toward animals are often made dependent upon altruism: to pay regard to animals is to act in an other-regarding manner instead of mutual benefit. There are three main versions of altruism in animal ethics. The first one of these is the most traditional, and emphasises benevolence as a source of moral regard. The second concentrates on the notion of value, and claims that animals have value in the individualistic sense despite being incapable of moral agency. The third resists overt theory-dependency, often included in the second version, and concentrates more on the elements of “context” and “identification”. Out of these, a combination of the last two is identified as the most fruitful basis for altruistic animal ethics.
24. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Heike Baranzke Does Beast Suffering Count for Kant: A Contextual Examination of §17 in The Doctrine of Virtue
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Ever since Schopenhauer´s accusation, it has been disputed whether Kant´s few remarks concerning the ethical human-animal-relationship in the Lectures and in the Doctrine of Virtue fail to support ethical arguments on behalf of animals. One critique that plays a central role is whether Kant would have forbidden cruelty to brutes for educational purposes. In addition to these old objections, Kant´s ethics is charged to be speciesistic by animal ethicists and animal rights philosophers at present.The following article examines especially §17 of the Doctrine of Virtue, which is the only animal ethical text authorized by Kant himself. The interpretation starts by taking the context of §17 into account, particularly the “Episodic Section on an Amphiboly in Moral Concepts”. The systematic output of the cruelty-account and of the duty classes is then analyzed. Central for the understanding of Kant´s argumentation relating to animals are the perfect duties to oneself, which are linked to Kant´s foundation of human dignity. Finally the roles of the physical and emotional needs of brutes and humans in Kant´s ethics are compared with each other. Some conclusions are then drawn concerning human and animal rights in relation to a duty-based argumentation. The article therefore appreciates Kant´s integration of animal suffering into the very core of his virtue ethics, an integration that may be able to open the door for an enlightened animal ethics based on human responsibility.
25. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Angela Ballantyne Humans and Hybrids: A Critique of the Western Moral Framework
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This paper uses the advent of human-animal hybrids, created though somatic cell nuclear transfer experiments in America and Australia, as a tool to deconstruct and challenge the dualistic belief that humans are morally distinct and superior to animals. The view that moral value corresponds to species membership creates a scientific and cultural environment that prohibits or restricts human embryo experimentation whilst permitting the extensive use of animals for research. The dualistic premise therefore motivates the creation of human-animal hybrids for research as a way for scientists to side-step restrictive legislation. Furthermore, ethical frameworks that incorporate the dualistic assumption have been incapable of objectively assessing the moral value of hybrid embryos. This failure indicates the arbitrariness of the moral dichotomy between animals and humans. Moral dualism, based on species membership, should be replaced with a liberal ethical framework based on a consistent standard such as interests.
26. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
C. C. Croney, B. Gardner, S. Baggot Beyond Animal Husbandry: The Study of Farm Animal Cognition and Ensuing Ethical Issues
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Concerns about the welfare of agricultural animals in corporate or “factory farming” systems are growing. Increasingly, it is suggested that modem farm animal production practices are morally objectionable, causing physical and mental suffering to animals. Such criticisms are premised on beliefs about the mental capacities of farm animals that are not wholly supported by scientific evidence, for little is known about farm animal cognition. Some animal scientists, realizing that concerns about the treatment of agricultural animals cannot be addressed in absence of knowledge about farm animal mentality, have begun cognitive studies of farm animals. Subsequently, several ethical problems have emerged. In this paper it is argued that while farm animal cognition studies are needed, scientists must consider the moral problems and implications of the research, and must devise empirically testable hypotheses about those aspects of cognitive behavior that are relevant to discussions about moral treatment of farm animals.
27. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
David Fraser, Rod Preece Animal Ethics and the Scientific Study of Animals: Bridging the “Is” and the “Ought”
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From ancient Greece to the present, philosophers have variously emphasized either the similarities or the differences between humans and nonhuman animals as a basis for ethical conclusions. Thus animal ethics has traditionally involved both factual claims, usually about animals’ mental states and capacities, and ethical claims about their moral standing. However, even in modern animal ethics the factual claims are often scientifically uninformed, involve broad generalizations about diverse taxonomic groups, and show little agreement about how to resolve the contradictions. Research in cognitive ethology and animal welfare science provides empirical material and a set of emerging methods for testing the plausibility of claims about animal mentation and thus for clarifying the interests and needs of animals. We suggest that progress in animal ethics requires both philosophically informed science to provide an empirically grounded understanding of animals, and scientifically informed philosophy to explore the ethical implications that follow.
28. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Monica L. Gerrek Hume and Our Treatment of Animals
29. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Eli Kanon Can Animals Attain Membership Within a Human Social/Moral Group?
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Justice is illustrated by how humans treat others. Human society can no longer be considered just if it continues to treat animals instrumentally, disregarding the moral worth of each individual creature. Emile Durkheim's division of labor theory offers a groundwork for providing animals limited rights within a human-dominated society. Solidarity can be fostered between animals and humans by internalizing the principle that all organisms are interdependent. This principle is the foundation for granting animals moral status. By recognizing the role animals play in our society, we can acknowledge our obligations to them. Utilizing a mechaorganic solidarity, humans can establish justification for moral treatment of animals.
30. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Niall Shanks, Keith Green Evolution and the Ethics of Animal Research
31. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Sarah E. McFarland Of Bears and Women: The Ethics of Gender in Barry Lopez’s Arctic Dreams
32. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Lisa Kretz Peter Carruthers and Brute Experience; Descartes Revisited
33. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
C. Tucker, C. MacDonald Beastly Contractarianism?: A Contractarian Analysis of the Possibility of Animal Rights
34. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Steven Benko Ethics, Technology, and Posthuman Communities
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As long as technology has been interpreted as an expression of practical reasoning and an effort to alter the conditions of human existence, ethical language has been used to interpret and critique technology’s meaning. When this happens technology is more than implements that are expressions of human intelligence and used towards practical ends in the natural world.1 As Frederick Ferre points out, technology is always about knowledge and values—what people want and what they want to avoid—and to the extent that technology increases power, one has to ask whether technology and/or the use towards which it is put is ethical.2 The ethicality of technology is based on whether that technology threatens or enhances the good for human beings. Therefore, any understanding of technology is never removed from ethics. Beyond the ethical evaluation of technology, technology is critiqued in light of whether it enhances or diminishes what it means to be human.
35. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton Introduction: On the Nature of Technology
36. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Christine James Sonar Technology and Shifts in Environmental Ethics
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For a philosopher, the history of sonar technology is fascinating. During the first and second World Wars, sonar technology was primarily associated with activity on the part of the sonar technicians and researchers. Usually this activity is concerned with creation of sound waves under water, as in the classic “ping and echo”. The last fifteen years have seen a shift toward passive, ambient noise “acoustic daylight imaging” sonar. Along with this shift a new relationship has begun between sonar technicians and environmental ethics.
37. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James Farris Philosophy Regarding Technology
38. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ana Cuevas The Many Faces of Science and Technology Relationships
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In this paper, the different theories about science and technology relationships are analyzed. All of them have some virtues, but also one main defect: these theories do not take into account other well-founded possible relationships. The origin of this problem is the narrow view about science and technology. In this paper another characterization about technology based on Ronald Giere’s perspective is suggested. In the light of this new description, six different relationships between science and technology arise. Some of these relations had been explained in the before analyzed theories, but others emerge from the new portrayal.
39. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Stefano Franchi Chess, Games, and Flies
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Research in Artificial Intelligence has always had a very strong relationship with games and game-playing, and especially with chess. Workers in AI have always denied that this interest was more than purely accidental. Parlor games, they claimed, became a favorite topic of interest because they provided the ideal test case for any simulation of intelligence. Chess is the Drosophila of AI, it was said, with reference to the fruit-fly whose fast reproductive cycle made it into a favorite test bed for genetic theories for almost a century. In this paper I will try to show Artificial Intelligence’s relationship to games is quite different from what this analogy suggests. In fact, I will argue that AI is, at core, a theory of games and a theory of subjectivity as game-playing.
40. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ronald Godzinski Jr. (En)Framing Heidegger’s Philosophy of Technology