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Title:Towards a theory of animal rights: Adventures in metaphysics and morals
Author(s):Polk, Amber
Director of Research:Livengood, Jonathan M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Livengood, Jonathan M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Moore, Michael S.; Hurd, Heidi M.; Murphy, Colleen; Ben Moshe, Nir
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
theory of rights
animal rights
Abstract:At this time, we have a century of jurisprudential and philosophical discussions on the metaphysical nature of rights. We have almost half a century of moral theory arguing for the moral rights of animals. Surprisingly, these two literatures have not intersected much. This leaves open whether the nature of rights could preclude the possibility of animal rights. It also leaves open what the nature of animal rights would be, should any of the moral arguments for animal rights be successful in their tasks. In this project, I explore these questions and show that animal rights must be conceived of as a limited form of human rights. Animals possess only passive rights (i.e. claim-rights protected by immunities) which function to advance their interests, in general. So conceived, it becomes clear why the moral arguments for animal rights have been grounded in deontological moral theories (e.g. varieties of Kantianism, contractarianism) rather than in consequentialist moral theories. Finally, even with a precise understanding of the nature of and grounds for the moral rights of animals, challenges remain regarding the ultimate force and place of animal moral rights among human moral rights.
Issue Date:2020-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Amber Polk
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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