Animals, Relations, and the Laissez-Faire Intuition

Environmental Values 25 (4):427-442 (2016)
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In Animal Ethics in Context, Clare Palmer tries to harmonise two competing approaches to animal ethics. One focuses on the morally relevant capacities that animals possess. The other is the Laissez-Faire Intuition (LFI): the claim that we have duties to assist domesticated animals but should (at least generally) leave wild animals alone. In this paper, I critique the arguments that Palmer offers in favour of the No-Contact LFI - the view that we have (prima facie) duties not to harm wild animals but no duties to assist them. I argue that Palmer's endorsement of the No-Contact LFI is unwarranted. Her arguments actually provide strong reasons to endorse what I call the Gradient View - a position that posits weak presumptive duties to assist wild animals that become stronger as our relations with the animals grow stronger.

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Author's Profile

Trevor Hedberg
University of Arizona

References found in this work

Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.

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