Animal Vulnerability and its Ethical Implications: An Exploration

Martin, Angela. (2019) Animal Vulnerability and its Ethical Implications: An Exploration. Journal of Applied Philosophy. pp. 1-21.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73672/

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While human vulnerability has been discussed for some time in the contemporary philosophy and bioethics literature, animal vulnerability has received less attention. In this article, I investigate whether the concept of vulnerability, as it is currently used in bioethics, can be meaningfully extended to animals. Furthermore, I discuss the ethical implications of ascribing vulnerability to animals and I show what vulnerability discourse can add to debates on animal ethics. In a first step, I analyse the conditions of vulnerability ascription. By taking as my basis the definition of vulnerability presented by Martin, Tavaglione and Hurst, I demonstrate that some animals fulfil the conditions of vulnerability ascription. I explore the ethical implications of vulnerability ascriptions in three domains: livestock farming, animal experimentation, and animals living in the wild. I argue that many groups of animals currently qualify as particularly vulnerable and should be afforded special protection so that they receive what they are due. I conclude by outlining the differences between vulnerability and sentience ascriptions: while sentience is a sufficient reason to ascribe moral status to a being, vulnerability draws our attention to those who are more likely to be denied what they are due.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement K√ľnste, Medien, Philosophie > Fachbereich Philosophie > Theoretische Philosophie (Wild)
UniBasel Contributors:Martin, Angela
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:03 Feb 2020 12:46
Deposited On:03 Feb 2020 12:46

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