Natural Relations: Ecology, Animal Rights & Social Justice
Benton (Ted)
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Back Cover Blurb

  1. In this challenging book, Ted Benton takes recent debates about the moral status of animals as a basis for reviewing the discourse of 'human rights'. Liberal-individualist views of human rights and the advocates of animal rights1 tend to think of individuals, whether humans or animals, in isolation from their social position. This makes them vulnerable to criticisms from the left which emphasise the importance of social relationships to individual well-being.
  2. Benton's argument supports the important assumption, underpinning the cause for animal rights2, that humans and other species of animal have much in common, both in the conditions for their well-being and in their vulnerability to harm. Both liberal rights theory and its socialist critique fail adequately to theorize these aspects of human vulnerability. Nevertheless, it is argued that, enriched by feminist and ecological insights, a socialist view of rights has much to offer. Lucid and wide-ranging in its argument, Natural Relations enables the outline of an ecological socialist view of rights and justice to begin to take shape.
  3. Ted Benton is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. His previous books include Philosophical Foundations of the Three Sociologies and The Rise and Fall of Structural Marxism.
  4. 'A major advance in work on animal rights3 – no-one working in the field will be able to avoid grappling with his original and provocative conclusions.' Andrew Dobson

    1. Introduction – 1
  1. Humans and Other Animals
    1. Marx on Humans and Animals; Humanism or Naturalism – 23
    2. The Social Life of Animals and the Philosophy of Animal Rights4 – 58
  2. Human Rights and Social Practice
    1. The Radical Case against Rights – 99
  3. Rights, Justice and Benevolence in a Finite World
    1. Beyond the Sociological Critique: Rights, Human and Animal – 143
    2. The Limits of Liberal Rights I; Individuals and Their Well-being – 168
    3. The Limits of Liberal Rights II: Sources of Harm and Limits of Emancipation – 194

    Notes – 223
    Index – 241

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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