Get Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics PDF

By Stephen T. Newmyer

ISBN-10: 0415240468

ISBN-13: 9780415240468

ISBN-10: 0415240476

ISBN-13: 9780415240475

This groundbreaking quantity explores Plutarch's special survival within the argument that animals are rational and sentient, and that we, as people, needs to take become aware of in their interests.

Exploring Plutarch's 3 animal-related treatises, in addition to passages from his moral treatises, Stephen Newmyer examines arguments that, strikingly, foreshadow these present in the works of such well known animal rights philosophers as Peter Singer and Tom Regan.

Unique in viewing Plutarch’s reviews not just within the context of historical philosophical and moral via, but additionally as an alternative within the background of animal rights hypothesis, Animals Rights and Reasons issues out how remarkably Plutarch differs from such anti-animal thinkers because the Stoics.

Classicists, philosophers, animal-welfare scholars and readers will all locate this publication a useful and informative addition to their reading.

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Extra resources for Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics

Sample text

Their actions, therefore, are not “up to them,” and they cannot in consequence be praised or blamed for their actions. In Stoic ethics, moral agency is associated with rational assent. 77 In the thinking of the Stoics and of their modern philosophical descendants, only moral agents fall within the scope of human moral consideration. The question of moral agency has taken on considerable importance in the thought of some prominent animal rights philosophers. Tom Regan agrees with the Stoics that animals are not moral agents and cannot therefore do right or wrong, but the conclusion he draws from this position differs radically from that implicit in Stoic doctrine.

Animals, in Plutarch’s view, share the conscious world of humans, however dim their consciousness may be, and do not, in his view, have to be equal to humans to matter to them. In the first seven chapters of De sollertia animalium (959A–965D), wherein the bulk of his case for rationality in animals is set forth, Plutarch employs forms of the word φ σις (physis) seventeen times, as he grapples with the questions of what constitutes the “nature” of animalkind and whether the nature of animals differs in any morally significant aspect from that of humankind.

78 Since the publication of Regan’s influential and controversial treatise, what has been termed the “argument from moral agency” has been subjected to searching criticism. 79 DeGrazia counters that a number of objections might be raised against the argument from agency. One cannot be sure, to begin with, that moral agents might not after all have some duties toward individuals who have no duties toward them in return (as, for example, in the case of babies). Moreover, the concept of inherent dignity of moral agents seems to have no philosophical grounding, but seems rather to reflect a species bias.

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Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics by Stephen T. Newmyer


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