Nonhuman Self-Investment Value


Guardians of companion animals killed wrongfully in the U.S. historically receive compensatory judgments reflecting the animal’s economic value. As animals are property in torts law, this value typically is the animal’s fair market value—which is often zero. But this is only the animal’s value, as it were, to a stranger and, in light of the fact that many guardians value their animals at rates far in excess of fair market value, legislatures and courts have begun to recognize a second value, the animal’s value to her guardian. What is this noneconomic value, and how should guardians be compensated for it? In Part 1, I propose a novel method to answer this question. My method includes a third, even more controversial, value: the animal’s value to herself. The idea that an animal could invest in herself faces many criticisms. In Part 2, I defend the claim by examining the mental capacities of dogs (Canis familiaris). I rebut the central objection—that dogs lack the psychological capacities required for self-investment—by showing that dogs are autonomous, think about their futures, and inhibit their desires in light of their goals. I close by suggesting that whereas the approach has conservative implications for the valuation of companion animals, it has radical implications for the valuation of agricultural animals. Keywords: companion animals, animal law, legal theory, value theory, practical ethics, economic value, noneconomic value, intrinsic value, instrumental value, animal welfare, dogs, animal rights, capital value, self-investment value, autonomy, wrongful death, philosophy of animal law, animal minds, moral standing of animals, legal standing of animals, agency, prospection, canine neurobiology, bereavement, replaceability, non-ideal ethics



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Animal rights: moral theory and practice.Mark Rowlands - 2009 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Raising the Bar in the Justification of Animal Research.Elisa Galgut - 2015 - Journal of Animal Ethics 5 (1):5-19,.
Nonhuman animal property: Reconciling environmentalism and animal rights.John Hadley - 2005 - Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (3):305–315.
Popular Media and Animals.Claire Molloy - 2011 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
Duties to Companion Animals.Steve Cooke - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (3):261-274.
Filling the ark: animal welfare in disasters.Leslie Irvine - 2009 - Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
The sciences of animal welfare.David J. Mellor - 2009 - Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by Emily Patterson-Kane & Kevin J. Stafford.


Added to PP

354 (#36,525)

6 months
109 (#11,551)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Gary Comstock
North Carolina State University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references