Animals obviously cannot have a right of free speech or a right
to vote because they lack the relevant capacities. But their right
to life and to be free of exploitation is no less fundamental than
the corresponding right of humans, writes Julian H. Franklin. This
theoretically rigorous book will reassure the committed, help the
uncertain to decide, and arm the polemicist.
Franklin examines all the major arguments for animal rights
proposed to date and extends the philosophy in new directions.
Animal Rights and Moral Philosophy begins by considering
the utilitarian argument of equal respect for animals advocated by
Peter Singer and, even more favorably, the rights approach that has
been advanced by Tom Regan. Despite their merits, both are found
wanting as theoretical foundations for animal rights. Franklin also
examines the ecofeminist argument for an ethics of care and several
rationalist arguments before concluding that Kant's categorical
imperative can be expanded to form a basis for an ethical system
that includes all sentient beings. Franklin also discusses
compassion as applied to animals, encompassing Albert Schweitzer's
ethics of reverence for life. He concludes his analysis by
considering conflicts of rights between animals and humans.
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