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Unformatted text preview: PHL- Animal Rights 24/06/2008 15:45:00 Singer’s essay- All animals are equal, the principle of equality • In determining the morality of a proposed action, we must consider not just our own interests but also the interests of other beings. • Which begins are to be included among those whose interests we must consider, and what weight should we give to their respective interests? • Singer: we must equally consider the interests of all beings that have any interests at all and are affected b the proposed action. • This, singer argues, includes certain animals. Four formulations of the “ basic principle of equality ”: • Bentham: “Each to count for one and none for more than one.” (429) • Sidgwick: the good of any one individual is of no more importance, from the point of view (if I may say so) of the universe, than the good of any other.” (479-480) • Singer: “the interests of every being affected by an action are to be taken into account and given the same weight as the like interests of any other being.” (479) • Timmons: “the interests of all beings who will be affected by an action or a practice are to be accorded equal consideration in determining the morality of the action or practice.” (477) Does the principle of equality say that all beings with interests must be treated equally, or that they have the same rights ? • This would make the principle implausible. It often seems appropriate to draw distinctions between what rights different kinds of beings have: o Arguably, men and women have the right to vote, but dogs do not have the right to vote (478) o Arguably, women have a right to an abortion, but men do not have a right to an abortion. (478) If we want to think that different beings have different rights and should be treated differently, must we reject the principle of equality? • No. The basic principle of equality does not require equal treatment ; it requires equal consideration. Equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights.” (478) Distinguish two questions: • Must we equally consider the interests of A and B? (a and b are two beings) • Must we treat A and B equally? Again, a duty to equal consideration does not imply a duty to equal treatment: • “concern for the well-being of children growing up in America would require that we teach them to read.” (480) • “Concern for the well-being of pigs may require no more than that we leave them with other pigs in a place where there is adequate food and room to run...
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This note was uploaded on 06/24/2008 for the course PHL 304 taught by Professor Leon during the Summer '08 term at University of Texas.
- Summer '08