March 24 Lecture Notes

Q. ) What sorts of beings (entities/individuals etc.) do I need to consider if I want to make an ethical decision? { For ethics what kinds of beings matter}

Anthropocentrism—-> The only thing that matters ethically is human being (Anthros= human being)

>Strong: All ethical duties are only to human beings (Decartes early 1600s) (Kant late 1700s)
>Weak: We might have duties to non human things but only b/c they matter to humans (Cohen 1980s)

*Kant & Cohen both are strong anthropocentrist but Cohen is not as strong as Kant. And Kant not as much as Decartes.
*For Kant/Cohen rights are about the capacity for mutual reciprocation/mutual recognition

—->Mutual recognition is when one recognizes your rights and recognize theirs

Some differences between animals and humans
1. One thing animals can't do is judge which means that they can't behave morally
2. Animals are amoral. Animals don't have rights b/c they don't understand rights
3. A murderer/killer can be considered immoral b/c they would know better and violated someone else rights {To kant this would equal the death penalty to a human, to animals punish an animal but don't kill them}

Anthropocentrist from strongest to weakest:

->Decartes believes in letting animals suffer b/c truly they are not suffering b/c they are just machines and have no soul

->Kant believes that animals can suffer but you should still be nice to them and have some kind of respect

->Cohen doesn't like animals to suffer however human suffering and needs are greater than animal suffering. But we should take animal suffering seriously and only use them just for food. In general we should eliminate the unnecessary suffering. And still shouldn't have rights

Animal Rights/Animal Liberation: Singer (1970s on)
Singer doesn't think that animals shouldn't have rights too. Rights are things that give you pleasure b/c of the way you are
*However he believes that we should give rights to ape b/c they are closest relative and are quite capable

Regan (Moral agency/Moral patience)
—-> Animals should have rights appropriate to the kind of being that they are. Not the exact same rights as humans

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