Animal Suffering and Rights--A Reply to Singer and Regan - Fox

Animal Suffering and Rights--A Reply to Singer and Regan - Fox

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Animal Suffering and Rights: A Reply to Singer and Regan Author(s): Michael Fox Source: Ethics, Vol. 88, No. 2 (Jan., 1978), pp. 134-138 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2379982 . Accessed: 15/08/2011 22:25 . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Ethics. http://www.jstor.org
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Animal Suffering and Rights: A Reply to Singer and Regan Michael Fox Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario Singer and Regan take me to task for allegedly misrepresenting their positions and claim that I have falsely attributed to them a number of views which I then go on to criticize. I cannot hope to deal with all of the charges they raise, but I will attempt to reply briefly to a few. To commence, I shall deal with two points brought up by both authors and then address some raised by each, separately. First, there are the issues of (1) the quantitative and qualitative equiv- alence of animal and human suffering and (2) whether animals and humans share an equivalent capacity to enjoy life. So far as (1) is concerned, both Singer and Regan provide the reader with evidence that would naturally lead him to form the kinds of conclusions I drew. (Indeed, they must argue for at least the quantitative equivalence of pains in order to make the notion of equal consideration of interests logically compelling.) Singer writes: "How bad a pain is depends on how intense it is and how long it lasts, but pains of the same intensity and duration are equally bad, whether felt by humans or animals."'" Indeed, he maintains on page 17 that "there must be some kind of blow . . . that would cause [a] horse as much pain as we cause a baby by slapping it with our hand" (my italics). This plainly pronounces on the quantitative dimension of animal and human pain, though other remarks of his (such as on p. 18), I concede, cast doubt on my attribution to him of the qualitative claim. Regan, for his part, cites Joel Feinberg, with evident approval, in the context of substantiating his own view. Part of one such reference reads: " 'A skeptic might deny that a toothache hurts a lion as much as it does a human being, but once one does concede that lion pain and human pain are equally pain pain in the same sense and the same degree then there can be no reason for denying that they are equally evil in themselves.' "2 Regan makes no effort to qualify his endorsement of this claim, to the effect that animal
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Animal Suffering and Rights--A Reply to Singer and Regan - Fox

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