Animal Morality: What It Means and Why It Matters

The Journal of Ethics 22 (3-4):283-310 (2018)
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It has been argued that some animals are moral subjects, that is, beings who are capable of behaving on the basis of moral motivations. In this paper, we do not challenge this claim. Instead, we presuppose its plausibility in order to explore what ethical consequences follow from it. Using the capabilities approach, we argue that beings who are moral subjects are entitled to enjoy positive opportunities for the flourishing of their moral capabilities, and that the thwarting of these capabilities entails a harm that cannot be fully explained in terms of hedonistic welfare. We explore the implications of this idea for the assessment of current practices involving animals.

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Author Profiles

Judith Benz-Schwarzburg
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
Susana Monsó
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

Citations of this work

Animal moral psychologies.Susana Monsó & Kristin Andrews - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Animal cognition.Kristin Andrews - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Caring animals and care ethics.Birte Wrage - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37.
A Practice‐Focused Case for Animal Moral Agency.Dorna Behdadi - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (2):226-243.

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