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The Ethics of Animal ResearchExploring the Controversy$
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Jeremy R. Garrett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017060

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017060.001.0001

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Virtue, Vice, and Vivisection

Virtue, Vice, and Vivisection

(p.125) 8 Virtue, Vice, and Vivisection
The Ethics of Animal Research

Garret Merriam

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that since it has neither the maximization component of utilitarianism, nor the deontological constraints of rights theory, virtue ethics can restrict animal experimentation to a narrow set of justified cases, while not prohibiting it outright. It contends that virtue theory can capture the general appeal of both utilitarianism and rights theory while avoiding the major problems of each. It also addresses six relevant elements in morally evaluating animal research programs. In light of these six conditions, this chapter suggests that very few cases of animal experimentation will be clearly justified.

Keywords:   utilitarianism, virtue ethics, virtue theory, rights theory, animal research, animal experimentation

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