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Title: Animals in Moral Space
Contributor(s): Fox, Michael Allen (author); McLean, Lesley (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: The idea that nonhuman animals have some kind of moral status has hovered of the fringes of philosophical discourse for quite some time. Since the beginnings of both Western and Eastern thought, there have been voices willing to affirm that animals are unique beings that should be treated with decency and respect. Apart from the edicts of emperors and selective scripture injunctions, however, such precepts were kept alive by only a few eccentric thinkers until the enactment of the first humane (or anti-cruelty) statutes in various constituencies during the seventeenth century and those following. These regulations made minor inroads into human beings' consciousness of their abusive, exploitative and oppressive treatment of animals. But recently, some scholars have argued that even anti-cruelty laws regard animals for the most part as property, as things or, at best, as expendable resources that merely require some special handling in order to prevent what's designated as "unnecessary suffering" (i.e., suffering in excess of what is required in order to fulfill particular human goals). A growing number of people believe that this is not good enough: animals deserve to be the subjects of moral concern for their own sake. Consequently, in the past few decades there has been a variety of attempts to find a way to integrate nonhuman animals into the moral sphere.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Animal Subjects: An Ethical Reader in a Posthuman World, p. 145-174
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Place of Publication: Waterloo, Canada
ISBN: 9780889205123
Field of Research (FOR): 220101 Bioethics (human and animal)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Cultural Studies Series
Series Number : 8
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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