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The aim of this special issue is to broaden the gaze of bioethics by directing bioethical inquiry beyond the human subject to include the nonhuman animal as an integral part of the discipline. The arc of the articles is striking and reflects state-of-the-art thinking in a diverse range of fields, including philosophy, animal ethics, sociology, conservation biology, and science.

Many of the writers who have contributed to the issue reconnect bioethics with its past, relinking bioethics with the nonhuman animal at the intersection of thought and practice. While they offer very different ways of thinking about the intimate interrelatedness of human and animal subjects, all of the authors who have contributed to this special issue call on bioethicists to pay closer attention to nonhuman animals and to the relationships between human and nonhuman in the light of their actual physical presence in human societies and cultures.

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We are invited to ask broader questions about moral life and seek broader connections beyond the human and to rethink our moral obligations to nonhuman animals beyond the traditional narrow scope of purely human interests. The papers generate sophisticated new understandings and synthetic constructions, complex interdisciplinary connections with science, policy, biology, and other relevant fields. The use of nonhuman animals for human benefit and to satisfy human interests arouses passionate emotions and animated social and political reactions.

His central task is to outline the kind of contribution that amorality can make to the advancement of animal ethics and the development of nonutilitarian animal liberation. In doing this he has two main aims: first, is to critically examine the assumptions, concepts, and specific propositions of moral theory and the use of moral language in debates about nonhuman animals to show that things could be different; second, is to articulate and develop an amoralist project that creates space for an emancipatory form of animal ethics.

This formulation of ethics is characterized by a commitment to openness, a revitalization of the ontological and interpretive imagination, and a move in forms of discourse toward a dynamic conversational and dialogical enterprise. It is often noted that scientists and philosophers struggle to agree as to what constitutes pain, suffering, and, thereby, claims as to the nature and importance of nonhuman sentience.

However, in a philosophical parallel to the recent Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness , Aaltola turns our attention to the central premise that underpins utilitarian and liberal democratic approaches to the moral status of nonhuman animals. In a careful reading of Wittgenstein and Husserl, she shows the intellectual poverty of relying on objectivity , rather than immediacy , in appreciating the internal experiences and mental states of others.

Any claims to know the suffering of others must rest on projections beyond evidence. Aatola argues that such claims must rest on empathy, the intersubjective appreciation and embodied representation of what others are feeling.

Suffering should be presumed rather than doubted, unless we are willing to accept the epistemological paradoxes of scepticism toward animal interiority that alienate us from our everyday experience. Even as neuroscience, as a public discourse at least, now leads philosophy in formally recognizing the potential and scope of nonhuman mentation, Aatola defines new grounds through which we should question those who remain even moderately sceptical as to the moral importance of animal suffering.

Bioethics is a complex discursive formation inherently liable to rival interpretations of what counts as its proper range of subject matter and what its future direction ought to take.


Pierce nominates the study of death awareness and death-related behaviour in nonhuman animals animal thanatology as suitable and important topics for bioethical inquiry. These are topics that might not otherwise be contemplated under the rubric of bioethics. In taking seriously the way nonhuman animals approach and respond to death, Pierce loosens the fetters that constrain what can be said and what can be written in bioethics discourse.

Presenting different sorts of observations of nonhuman animal behaviour and animal death, she moves bioethics beyond its customary boundaries and brings the field into robust and sustained dialogue with cognitive ethology and animal ethics. From the Greeks—Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Petrarch—to the continental philosophers—Spinoza, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Schopenhauer—love has been a constant source of interest. Much of this examination has, unsurprisingly, been concerned with human love, be it sexual or spiritual, and very few scholars, with the notable exception of Rousseau, have been concerned with love between human and nonhuman animals, except insofar that it created a point of differentiation between species.

Scruton is careful to identify that there may be right and wrong ways to love a dog, or a horse, or any other object of affection, and that misapprehending the meaning of love may lead both to anthropomorphism of animal behaviour and to the sentimentalisation of animal life. Most importantly, Scruton does not deny the possibility that people may love animals or that animals may depend upon that love; rather, he asks that we recognize that such love may have terrible costs.

Specifically, that by loving animals as individuals, our dogs and our cats, we threaten animals who cannot be loved in this way, most notably those without a name, a sought relationship, a domesticity—such as the birds and beasts of the field—and thereby imperil the survival of species and the maintenance of natural order.

David DeGrazia | Department of Philosophy | The George Washington University

The keeping of animals as pets is a fundamental part of contemporary human life. Rock and Degeling draw attention to the unique moral, social, and legal status of pets in society and law. Philosophers attempting to make a case for or against extending moral consideration to nonhuman animals in research have frequently appealed to phenomena such as rationality, self-consciousness, communicative ability, and the capacity to suffer.

Jane Johnson takes a road less travelled and instead appeals to a concept for human research ethics, namely vulnerability, to think through similarities in the experience of humans and animals in research. A taxonomy developed by Mackenzie et al. Although the claim that animals in research can be cast as vulnerable is well supported, the question of whether establishing another point of similarity between human and nonhuman animals will gain any traction or has the capacity to effect change remains open.

However, while bioethics has taken greater note of the political economy of health and the moral world, in part as a response to external critiques from sociology and from feminist and political philosophy, it has generally continued to focus on human concerns and human constructions of social order. This is, in many ways, surprising, given the increasing recognition of One Health and the growing importance of the animal-industrial complex to global pharmaceutical companies. His examination of this issue provides a reminder of the need for bioethics to enrich its analysis of inequalities, injustices, and social transformation, both through greater attention to politics and political economy and through greater attention to intersectional critiques that are inclusive of ecological and animal studies and concerns.

The nonhuman animal, both in bioethical discourse and, more importantly, in itself, is worthy of attention and respect. The authors of this collection do not take sanctuary in European humanism in the face of social, cultural, and political transformation. Rather, they seek to cut through the layers and hierarchies of human interests and values. Each of the authors challenges us to develop more rigorous understanding of the myriad ways in which nonhuman animals impact on human lives and to rationally reappraise our place as individuals, citizens, and species in the world and our responsibility for nonhuman animals.

We hope that reading these articles will help forge an appreciation of the deep and sustained connections between bioethics and the nonhuman animal and the role of animals beyond simple figures of human thought. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Bioethics and Nonhuman Animals.

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Editorial First Online: 05 December Introduction This special issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry focuses on animal ethics and various intersections amongst human and nonhuman animals. Against this background, it is perhaps surprising that nonhuman animals remain on the fringe of bioethics.

9990 Psychology: Animal Ethics

Aaltola, E. Skepticism, empathy, and animal suffering. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 4. Armstrong, S. The animal ethics reader , 2nd edition. Toggle navigation Menu. Name of resource. Problem URL. Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Ethics and animals : an introduction. Responsibility Lori Gruen. Physical description xvi, p. Series Cambridge applied ethics. Online Available online. Cambridge Core Full view. SAL3 off-campus storage. G78 Available. Seller Inventory mon This book reflects on our ethical obligations and responsibilities to other animals, encouraging readers to engage with the philosophical issues at stake.

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Series: Cambridge Applied Ethics. Num Pages: pages. Dimension: x x Weight in Grams: An Introduction. Weight: Seller Inventory V Lori Gruen. Publisher: Cambridge University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title In this fresh and comprehensive introduction to animal ethics, Lori Gruen weaves together poignant and provocative case studies with discussions of ethical theory, urging readers to engage critically and empathetically reflect on our treatment of other animals.

Book Description : How do other animals experience their environments? From the Back Cover : Ethics and Animals is a work of exceptional clarity and intelligence, and it is hard to imagine how it could be surpassed. Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought.

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