Today’s Topics Moral Standing and Animal Rights Moral Standing and Natural objects
Moral Standing • Which things in the universe count when making moral decisions? • Do (could) non-human animals or naturee have moral standing? • Why or why not?
Drawing Lines and Setting Criteria • Moral relevance • Fit with considered judgments • Reflective equilibrium as one test of a moral theory • Extension of the theory to new cases
5 Theories of Animal Rights • No Status—Animals lack true moral standing because they lack a crucial property • Indirect Status—Animals sometimes have indirect, instrumental moral standing • Equal Standing—Animals are on exactly the same moral footing as humans • Equal Consideration—Animals matter in our moral deliberations, but not equally w/ humans • Two Tier Consideration—Human interests trump animal interests
Spheres of Relevant Values • Who matters • Anthropocentrism—only human beings and human interests matter • Biocentrism—any living thing matters and is morally significant • Ecocentrism—any natural thing matters and is morally significant
Kinds of Value • Intrinsic Value—Valuable independent of its usefulness or meaning to any other creature • Instrumental (Extrinsic) Value—Valuable because of its usefulness or meaning to some other creature
Standing for Natural Kinds (Species) and Natural Objects • Why do species and natural objects matter • Economic Value • Environmental Value • Informational Value • BUT, each of these is an INSTRUMENTAL and ANTHROPOCENTRIC reason for valuing • Russow seeks an aesthetic value for the individual members of a species
Values, Originals, and the Restoration Thesis • Is there anything wrong with simply restoring a natural area after extracting values from it (the restoration thesis)? • Eliot says Yes-there is a value in an original that cannot be recaptured no matter how faithful the reproduction.
Rights for Natural Objects (Standing for Trees) • The possession of rights does not turn on the possession of some property of capacity. • The possession of rights is a matter of human convention. • We have expanded the realm of right holders in the past, we could do it again.
What do Rights Do? • Are there conditions on the possession of rights, despite our agreements? • Rights are trumps, they protect something, but what? • If rights protect interests, then only those things which are capable of having interests could have rights.
Rights and Interests • The most one can have is a set of rights that protects the interests on can have. • E.g. without a concept of the self as a continuing subject, one cannot have a right to life (since that right protects one’s interest in oneself as a continuing subject) even though one may have other rights. • Rights would develop with capacities.