Animal Rights: Moral Theory and Practice Paperback – 21 Aug 2009
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'Those concerned with animal ethics owe a debt of gratitude to Mark Rowlands. He has written what is without doubt the best defense of animal rights from a contractarian position, or perhaps from any position. Rowlands writes in an admirably clear and engaging manner, guaranteed to lure the reader into joining the spirited conversation.' - Susan J. Armstrong, Professor Emerita, Department of Philosophy, Humboldt State University, Arcata, Canada
'Philosophers, in particular, and those interested in animal rights issues, in general, should be grateful for the publication of this book for several reasons. First, familiar defenses of the animal rights position offered by Peter Singer and Tom Regan are examined anew, such that even those who are very familiar with these defenses see them in a new light. Second, the more recent debate in virtue ethics regarding treatment of animals (between Rosalind Hursthouse and Roger Scruton) is treated very insightfully. Third, Rowlands develops his own powerful version of a contractarian account of animal rights based on Rawlsian principles. And fourth, he also treats the animal rights issue in novel terms in light of recent debates in philosophy of mind and in relation to a fantastic thought experiment wherein brilliant aliens start farming and eating human beings because of their intellectual inferiority. This is not a book to be ignored!' - Daniel A. Dombrowski, Professor of Philosophy, Seattle University, USA
A substantially revised new edition of a highly accessible introduction to major ethical issues via an exploration of animal rightsSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
Rowlands takes as examples, factory farming and fox hunting and shows why they are wrong under his 'new contractarianism' theory. However, the conclusion that he draws, that ALL use of sentient animals is wrong is, I think, unjustfied. I don't believe that his theory shows the wrongness of eating, for example, low intensity, well cared for sheep that have have been allowed to express natural behaviour. Or culling and eating deer that are unnaturally abundant due to our removing the natural top predator (wolves) from the ecosystem. Also, 'New Contractarianism' does not seem to give any real guidance on how we should treat populations and ecosystems, and as a result, I don't think that it can do all the work that we require of such a moral theory.
Chapter 7 I believe requires a good grounding in Theory of Mind, and was beyond my comprehension. The other exciting aspect is that by Rowlands' theory, I think it could be valid to apply a Rawlsean approach (i.e. the original position) to intergenerational justice - I hope someone will take up this baton!
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