Zoocentric Egalitarianism Chart

 Posted by on 10 August 2004 at 12:18 pm  Uncategorized
Aug 102004

I’m presently working desperately on my paper for last semester’s Environmental Philosophy class. Broadly speaking, my topic is the gross defects of zoocentric egalitalianism, i.e. of Peter Singer’s case for animal liberation and Tom Regan’s case for animal rights. A central theme of my paper is that, although Singer and Regan differ in moral foundations (utilitarianism versus deontology) and in practical implications (betterment versus abolition), their arguments do share certain interesting and signficant structural features. This morning, I developed this little chart, which I thought worth posting. Of course, if you’re not familiar with Singer and/or Regan, I doubt that it will make much sense.

Application to
to Animals
Peter Singer Entities which feel pleasure and pain have interests. All interests are morally equal. All interests should be granted equal consideration in the moral calculus. Explaining the evils of racism and sexism requires equal consideration of interests. Equal consideration of interests cannot be justly limited to humans, particularly not given marginal humans.
Tom Regan Entities which possess sufficient consciousness are subjects-of-a-life. All subjects-of-a-life possess equal inherent value. Entities with inherent value possess an equal right to be treated with respect. Respect for equal inherent value in principle denies the moral tolerability of discrimination. Equal respect for inherent value cannot be justly limited to humans, particularly not given marginal humans.

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