Killing and Extinction
Bykvist (Krister)
Source: Luper - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death, 2014, Chapter 19
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. In Chapter 19, the final chapter, Krister Bykvist discusses the leading reasons why it might be objectionable to end the existence of animals, then considers whether on the same sorts of grounds it would be objectionable to bring about the extinction of a species.
  2. It seems wrong to end the existence of animals for three main reasons:
    1. we owe it to individual animals not to kill them;
    2. killing them frustrates their preferences; and
    3. killing them is against their interests.
  3. Species extinction need not involve killing any animals; it might instead result from causing them to be infertile. Still, perhaps it is wrong to annihilate a species because
    1. we owe it to that species that we not bring about its extinction, or
    2. because doing so would frustrate its preferences or
    3. because it would be against its interests.
  4. However, it seems difficult to make a strong case against species extinction on such grounds. According to Bykvist, it may be more promising to explain the wrongness of species extinction on the grounds that preserving species has some sort of non-instrumental value.


Book Chapter, but pdf downloaded from Cambridge Core. Filed in zip with full book.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Luper (Steven) - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death: Introduction".

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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