Integrating Justice and Care in Animal Ethics
Journal of Applied Philosophy 2004; 21(2): 183-195
In this paper I argue that the standoff between justice and care approaches to animal ethics presents us with a false dilemma. We should take justice's focus on reasoning from principles, and care's use of sympathetic awareness, as two integrated deliberative capacities necessary for the consideration of arguments for extending moral concern to animals. Such an integrated approach rests on a plausible account of the psychology of moral deliberation. I develop my argument as follows. Section I summarizes the nature of the debate between justice and care approaches to animal ethics, focusing on Brian Luke's arguments against justice approaches. Section II provides pro-justice rebuttals to Luke's objections. These rebuttals, while largely successful against Luke's objections, do not account for the intuition that sympathy does play a central epistemological role in animal ethics. Section III explains how sympathy cognitively simulates the perspective of the other, and thus can play an epistemological role in animal ethics. I argue that the abilities to simulate the perspective of the other and to reason from moral principles can complement each other. In section IV, I argue that though it may not be desirable to use both sympathy and reasoning from principles in all moral deliberation, it is a desirable aim when offering, and considering, moral arguments for what I will term the "extensionist project" of extending over moral concern to animals. I make this idea plausible by elucidating the claim that arguments for this project are best thought of as second-order deliberations about our first-order deliberative life.
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