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

By Stephen T. Newmyer

This groundbreaking quantity explores Plutarch's targeted survival within the argument that animals are rational and sentient, and that we, as people, needs to take observe 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 favourite animal rights philosophers as Peter Singer and Tom Regan.

Unique in viewing Plutarch’s evaluations not just within the context of old philosophical and moral via, but additionally as an alternative within the heritage 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 e-book a useful and informative addition to their reading.

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

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Perhaps no example that Aristotle cites has had more far-reaching consequences in the history of man’s relationship with animals than his assertion that, while some animals can use their voices to give information or to communicate sensations of pleasure and pain, only man has a language that allows him to communicate knowledge and ethical values (λ γον δ μ νον νθρωπος χει τ ν ζ ων . . το το γ ρ πρ ς τ λλα ζ α το ς νθρ ποις διον, τ μ νον γαθο κα κακο κα δικα ου κα δ κου κα τ ν λλων α σθησιν χειν, Politica [Politics] 1253a10–19).

This ability in animals to recognize things that are akin to themselves or foreign to them (πρ ς τ ο κε ον κα τ λλ τριον α σθησις, 961B) is of course the origin of that oikeiotês which underlies a creature’s affection for its offspring and forms the basis for its sense of self-preservation. Moreover, an animal could not be expected to keep things in mind once the immediate perception of them is past, if the animal did not possess that function of intellect called memory (961B). Otherwise, an animal could never recall what prey is proper to it.

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. Because animals cannot act morally, the Stoics conclude, human beings have the right to use them as they see fit since, after all, moral discourse with them is precluded by their irrationality.

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