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Title: The political turn in animal ethics
Author: Milburn, Josh
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 4736
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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Animal ethics has traditionally been considered primarily from the perspective of moral philosophy, rather than political philosophy. This thesis, however, engages with the the emerging “political turn” in animal ethics, critically examining the direction this new literature has taken. After an introduction exploring the nature of the turn, the main body of the thesis is split into five. Part 1 (chapters 1-2) explores ideal and nonideal theory, arguing that the former is concerned with designing a perfectly just state, while the latter is concerned with remedying injustice in an imperfect state. Part 2 offers an interest-based theory of animal rights (chapter 3) based around nonhuman animals’ interests in freedom from suffering (chapter 4), continued life (chapter 5), dignified treatment (chapter 6) and use of their territories (chapter 7). Part 3 argues that a nonideal theory of political animal rights should focus on negative rights (chapter 8), then offers a new nonideal account animal ethics: the interest-based negative rights approach (chapter 9). Part 4 turns to right libertarian philosophy, and, in particular, the philosophy of Robert Nozick. It is argued that Nozick could be read as an animal ethicist, and perhaps as a supporter of political animal rights (chapters 10-11). Three tools potentially useful for animal ethicists in Nozickian philosophy are then explored. Specifically, the invisible hand creation of the state (chapter 12), the labour-mixing account of property (chapter 13) and the “Lockean” proviso (chapter 14) are expanded to include nonhuman animals. Part 5 explores speciesism from a political perspective. A new account of speciesism, capturing its political face, is offered (chapter 15), and two arguments for speciesism found in the political literature are refuted: psychological speciesism (chapter 16) and essentialist speciesism (chapter 17). A brief conclusion looks towards future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available