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Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics - download pdf or read online

By Stephen T. Newmyer

This groundbreaking quantity explores Plutarch's distinctive survival within the argument that animals are rational and sentient, and that we, as people, needs to take realize 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 critiques not just within the context of historic philosophical and moral via, but additionally instead within the background 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 booklet a useful and informative addition to their reading.

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Cicero again elucidates the Stoic position as it appeared in Chrysippus, who held that no covenant of justice exists between humans and animals (De finibus III. 67): Sed quomodo hominum inter homines iuris esse vincula putant, sic homini nihil iuris cum bestiis. Praeclare Chrysippus cetera nata esse hominum causa et deorum, eos autem communitatis et societatis suae, ut bestiis homines uti ad utilitatem suam possint sine iniuria. At the same time, in his presentation of the Stoic position here, Cicero hints, certainly unintentionally, at the peculiar ambiguity that the Stoic view of animals entailed which forced them to regard them as a necessary evil, a class of beings to which humans can owe nothing but which is at the same time absolutely essential to their lifestyle.

14). Hunting is the noble and controlled pursuit of this goal, Greek supporters of hunting maintained, in which humans can succeed only by virtue of their intellect. Through Autobulus’ reply to Soclarus’ assertion, however, Plutarch introduces a note of sympathy and “fellow-feeling” for animals as suffering creatures that is by no means common in ancient discussions of man’s relations with other species, whether in the context of hunting or elsewhere, but which sets the tone for Plutarch’s subsequent argumentation in De sollertia animalium, and lends a distinctly “modern” tone to his animal psychology.

Yet DeGrazia’s most telling argument, which he terms the “gradualist thesis,” falls outside the scope of Stoic morality in maintaining that moral agency is a matter of degree, so that not all humans have all attributes of agency while not all animals have none. “The capacities to project into the future,” DeGrazia argues, “to learn from experience, to keep multiple considerations in mind, to feel for others, to make decisions, and so on are found, to some degree at least, in many mammals. . ”80 DeGrazia concludes his discussion by stating that the argument from moral agency is itself a product of species bias.

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