Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 13, 1996 - Nature - 302 pages
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What sort of minds do animals have? Do they have feelings, desires, or beliefs? Are they capable of self-awareness, language, or autonomy? Do animals have moral standing, and if so, how seriously should we take their interests when they conflict with human interests? This book distinguishes itself from the sometimes polemical literature on these issues by offering the most judicious and balanced exploration yet available of animals' moral standing and of related questions concerning their minds and welfare. Transcending the overplayed debate between utilitarians and rights theorists, the book employs a fresh methodological approach in defending highly progressive conclusions regarding our treatment of animals. David DeGrazia provides the most thorough discussion yet of whether equal consideration should be extended to animals' interests, and he examines the issues of animal minds and animal welfare with an unparalleled combination of philosophical rigor and empirical documentation.
 

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Contents

A short primer on animal ethics
1
The coherence model of ethical justification
11
Animals moral status and the issue of equal consideration¹
36
Motivation and methods for studying animal minds
75
Feelings
97
Desires and beliefs
129
Selfawareness language moral agency and autonomy
166
The basics of wellbeing across species
211
Back to animal ethics
258
Index
299
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