Saturday, July 30, 2016

Table of Contents for out of print "Ethics for Everyday," edited by David Benatar

David Benatar, ed.
McGraw Hill, 2002

Telling lies, gossiping, practicing adultery, gambling, smoking, using offensive language, corporal punishment of one’s children, copying copyrighted material – these are moral issues that affect, and often deeply affect, our daily lives. Everyday Ethics is a collection of readings devoted to ethical problems like these that confront ordinary people in everyday life. The anthology covers the areas of communication, sex, parents and children, animals, money matters, and body and environment. Nearly all selections are from the late 1980s and the 1990s.

Friday, July 22, 2016

On "Moral Status"

What is the moral status of animals? What’s the moral status of fetuses? What’s the moral status of the permanently comatose? While questions like these are sometimes asked (also about ‘moral standing’), I have written a few paragraphs where I argue that the term “moral status” shouldn’t be used.

A Review of "Philosophy Comes to Dinner"

Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating, Andrew Chignell, Terence Cuneo, and Matthew C. Halteman (eds.), Routledge, 2016, 299pp., $33.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780415806831.

Reviewed by Tina Rulli, University of California, Davis

This book contains my and Dan Hooley's "A Moral Argument for Veganism."

Thanks, Tina!

Monday, July 18, 2016

On the "What's Wrong?" Blog: Abortion and Animal Rights - Animal Rights and Abortion

What’s Wrong With Linking Abortion and Animal Rights?

Nathan Nobis, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College, kindly contributed the following piece to What’s Wrong?  Professor Nobis is the author of many articles and book chapters on topics concerning ethics and animals (e.g., vegetarianism, experimentation) and the ethics of abortion, an unpublished 2003 essay on the relations between these topics, and a review of a recent book on these topics’ intersections, which inspired this essay.  What’s Wrong? is grateful to Professor Nobis for permission to publish this original piece here.
Should your views on abortion influence your views on animal rights? Should your views on the moral status of animals influence your views on the moral status of human fetuses?
        Generally, no. Most arguments against abortion have no implications for animal rights and those that might seem to be poor arguments against abortion. And arguments for animal rights only have implications for rare, later abortions of conscious fetuses, not the majority of abortions that affect early, pre-conscious fetuses.
On the other sides, though, a common of objection to animal rights does support a pro-life view and an influential feminist pro-choice argument does suggest positive implications for animals, though.
Overall, the topic of abortion presents with an inherent complexity never analogously present in animal rights issues – the perspective of the pregnant woman whose life and body the fetus depends on – and so the issues are importantly distinct. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Questions, Answers and Evidence

I just saw that Moore's Principia Ethica is online. It has a great beginning, relevant to all writers and researchers, in many fields:
"It appears to me that in Ethics, as in all other philosophical studies, the difficulties and disagreements, of which its history is full, are mainly due to a very simple cause: namely to the attempt to answer questions, without first discovering precisely what question it is which you desire to answer."

Figuring out what exact question(s) about a topic one is trying to answer determines how one will answer those questions and what types of evidence is needed to answer those questions

Thanks, G.E.!

Textbook-in-Progress Presentation Handout

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Abortion and Animal Rights paper from 2000 or 2003

So I recently (summer, 2016) wrote an essay about abortion and animal rights. I realized that in 2000 I wrote a paper that I called "Abortion and Animal Rights: Related, but Importantly Different, Issues," that I apparently updated in 2003 (maybe I added the introductory paragraph then, since the paper works without it, and I couldn't have written that paragraph in 2000). By a fluke I found the file, which got lost and forgotten in a computer crash or change. That was a long time ago! The paper has a different tone from most things I write these days, but it appears that some of the basic points are the same. See below or the link above: