Contractualism and Character
Carruthers (Peter)
Source: Carruthers (Peter) - The Animals Issue: Moral Theory in Practice, Chapter 7
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. In this chapter I shall confront the problem left over from Chapter 5 ("Carruthers (Peter) - Contractualism and Animals"), arguing that there is a way in which contractualism can accommodate duties towards animals that is independent of the question of offence caused to animal lovers.
  2. I shall then investigate just how extensive these duties may be, on the resulting account.

Author’s Summary (Conclusion)
  1. Contractualism withholds direct moral rights from animals, while at the same time granting them to all human beings. Yet contractualism can explain our common-sense belief that animals should not be caused to suffer for trivial reasons, since causing such suffering is expressive of a cruel character.
  2. This position is sufficiently plausible1 to be acceptable under reflective equilibrium. But the constraints thus justified are minimal. Contractualism certainly provides no support for those who would wish to extend still further the moral protection already available to animals.


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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

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