on 22 May 2004
Did not think contractarianism could yield an animal ethic? Think again. Rowlands contractarianism takes from that of John Rawls and is premised on the basal ideas of liberalism. The idea of the original position as a heuristic device is then used to exposit the scope and limits of justice, which, Rowlands argues, Rawls fails to do. When this is done, Rowlands thinks the injustice of the exclusion of non-humans from our moral sphere becomes evident.
If you are unhappy with Regan and Singer or with their deontological and utilitarian approaches this book is very much worth considering. 'Animal Rights: A Philosophical Defence' is a philosophical big brother to Rowlands' 'Animals Like Us'. Philosophically sophisticated and clearly written 'Animal Rights' is necessary reading for any of those seriously concerned with animal ethics.