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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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Contractarianism, Animals, and Risk

Contractarianism, Animals, and Risk

(p.147) 9 Contractarianism, Animals, and Risk
The Ethics of Animal Research

Mark Rowlands

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that while some versions of contractarian moral theory preclude granting moral status to nonhumans, the most plausible, and the most influential, versions of this approach are not only compatible with the moral claims of animals, they actually entail these claims. It assumes that animals meet neither the equality of power condition nor the rationality condition. It defends the most plausible form of contractarianism available—essentially a Rawlsian version stripped of certain unnecessary and infelicitous elements. It uses this model to the difficult issue of animal testing. This chapter suggests that autonomy is far from the Kantian concept of the ability to morally reflect on one’s actions.

Keywords:   contractarian, moral theory, animals, contractarianism, animal testing, autonomy, Kantian concept, Rawlsian version

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