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Treating animals as ends

William A. Wright

pp. 353-366


Starting with a moral theory famous for being antagonistic toward animal rights, I have argued that we do have direct duties toward some animals, specifically those animals most closely related to human beings, whose behavior is reasonably interpreted as the result of conscious choice. Like animal rights views, the Kantian view escapes the intuitive counter-examples leveled at simple versions of utilitarianism. It rules out causing pain to the protected animals and also rules out killing them painlessly. But the Kantian view does not rule out painless experimentation at the cost of ruling out even harmless observation of animals. Nor is it restricted to a doctrine of negative obligations. The Kantian view forbids actions we intuitively think are wrong, allows those we think are permissible, and enjoins those we think are praiseworthy.

Publication details

Published in:

(1993) The Journal of Value Inquiry 27 (3-4).

Seiten: 353-366

DOI: 10.1007/BF01087684


Wright William A. (1993) „Treating animals as ends“. The Journal of Value Inquiry 27 (3-4), 353–366.