All animals are equal peter singer thesis

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All animals are equal peter singer thesis

Click to share on WhatsApp Opens in new window In an applied ethics course I taught many times at Arizona State University, I had my students read the following article: All animals are equal. Reprinted in LaFollette, Hugh ed. This is a version of the notes I took on that article for my students.

I am continuing to update the notes occasionally, even though right now I no longer work for ASU or teach this course. Introduction Peter Singer probably is one of the most well-known philosophers alive today.

"All Animals Are Equal" by Peter Singer : philosophy Indirect Theories On indirect theories, animals do not warrant our moral concern on their own, but may warrant concern only in so far as they are appropriately related to human beings. The implications these sorts of theories have for the proper treatment of animals will be explored after that.
Peter Singer - Wikipedia The classic instance is the Black Liberation movement, which demands an end to the prejudice and discrimination that has made blacks second-class citizens.
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"All Animals are Equal" by Peter Singer : philosophy His principle of equal consideration of interests does not dictate equal treatment of all those with interests, since different interests warrant different treatment. All have an interest in avoiding pain, for instance, but relatively few have an interest in cultivating their abilities.

He has been in the public spotlight a number of times for taking controversial moral positions based on All animals are equal peter singer thesis uncompromising utilitarianism. He was one of the pioneers of the animal welfare movement, starting principally with his book, Animal Liberation New York: I mention all of this because you are much more likely to encounter his name outside this course than most of the other authors we will be reading.

The article we are reading is early work, published a year before Animal Liberation. Here are what I think are the main contours of his argument I am not putting his argument in premise-conclusion form here; I am just describing how it develops through his article: The only criterion of moral importance that succeeds in including all humans, and excluding all non-humans, is simple membership in the species Homo sapiens.

However, using simple membership in the species Homo sapiens as a criterion of moral importance is completely arbitrary. Using sentience as a criterion of moral importance entails that we extend to other sentient creatures the same basic moral consideration i.

Therefore, we ought to extend to animals the same equality of consideration that we extend to human beings. Singer argues for this simply by pointing to variation among humans. If we examine the usual characteristics that people say all humans, and only humans, share, we always find that there are human beings who lack those characteristics: Like it or not, we must face the fact that humans come in different shapes and sizes; they come with differing moral capacities, differing intellectual abilities, differing amounts of benevolent feeling and sensitivity to the needs of others, differing abilities to communicate effectively, and differing capacities to experience pleasure and pain.

In short, if the demand for equality were based on the actual equality of all human beings, we would have to stop demanding equality. If you want to say that every human is morally important, and that humans are the only creatures that are morally important, then your criterion for moral importance must be based simply on species membership.

Singer seems to think this is fairly obvious once it is stated. If there is, in fact, no relevant difference between your group and some other group, then there is no rational ground for thinking that those who belong to your group deserve greater consideration than those who belong to the other group.

Although it is fairly natural for people to use species membership as a criterion of moral importance, Singer thinks the obvious parallels with racism are so striking as to clearly invalidate that natural impulse. This is a typically consequentialist way of thinking; you should consider how deontologists might look at this given the role of duties of special relationships in deontological ethics.

Should common species membership be considered an appropriate special relationship? Singer argues for this in two ways. First, he argues by example that the other criteria are bad, because again they will exclude people who we think ought not be excluded. For instance, many people claim that the well-being of animals is unimportant because animals are not as intelligent as humans.

However, clearly some human beings say, those with very late-stage dementia are less intelligent than some animals, but no one thinks that this makes the well-being of those human beings unimportant. Hence, intelligence is not a plausible criterion of moral importance.

Second, Singer argues that it is only by virtue of being sentient that anything can be said to have interests in the first place, so this puts sentience in a different category than the other criteria: Singer is trying to establish that if a being is not sentient, then the idea of extending moral consideration to it makes no sense.

This negative argument is important, because one common criticism of Singer is that his criterion ends up excluding humans who are no longer sentient like those in an irreversible coma. Singer is content to accept that consequence, but it is important that he show why the exclusion of some humans by his criterion is not problematic, given that he has criticized other criteria for their exclusions: If suffering is bad, then, prima facie, it must be bad for any creature to suffer.

So, if we want to make a radical distinction between our suffering and the suffering of other beings, the burden of proof is on us. Singer is not saying that we are required, in practice, to treat humans and nonhuman animals the same.

Extending to animals the same moral consideration we extend to humans means that we give the interests of animals the same weight as comparable interests of humans. However, not all interests necessarily are comparable.

In other words, we cannot give the interests of animals less weight just because the beings that have them are animals, but it may be that the interests animals happen to have are the kinds of interests that do have less weight.

To clarify, let me introduce a distinction Singer makes outside of this article: Singer defines a person or a creature with personhood as a creature that is aware of its own persistence over time.

Personhood is not, incidentally, coextensive with humanity: Singer contends that adult chimpanzees are persons, but that human infants are not.Peter Singer - "All Animals are Equal" (in James E.

White text) Thesis: Once we properly understand the idea of moral equality, there is no reason to deny that sentient animals have interests that are equal to human interests.

Speciesism is a mistake.

All animals are equal peter singer thesis

All posts must develop and defend a substantive philosophical thesis. [PDF] "All Animals Are Equal" by Peter Singer (r-bridal.comophy) submitted 1 year ago by cheesepizza He produces this argument by beginning with the fact that we give all humans equal consideration, regardless of their unequal characteristics, and .

Equality in Peter Singer´s All Animals are Equal Essay. Show More "In "All Animals Are Equal," Singer argues for the equality of all animals, on the basis of an argument by analogy with various civil rights movements, on the part of human beings.

Singer explains the reasoning beg=hind his thesis by offering the reader a thought. The distinction between humans and nonhumans is not a sharp division.

‘'All Animals Are Equal’’-Peter Singer Premise 1 Human and non-human animals is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to non-human animals.

Peter Singer’s Argument: All Animals Are Equal. Description Details. Discipline Philosophy.

All animals are equal peter singer thesis

Assignment type: Essay Description. I need a 5, double-spaced page paper that has the following: – Critique or Defend Singer’s argument that all animals are equal. Animals and Ethics. Singer and the Principle of Equal Consideration of Interests. Peter Singer has been very influential in the debate concerning animals and ethics.

Singer suggests that the first option is too counter-intuitive to be acceptable; so we are forced to conclude that all animals are equal, human or otherwise.

‘'All Animals Are Equal’’-Peter Singer by Ashley So on Prezi