Winter, 2013 TR: 2:30 - 3:45
What ethical and legal obligations do we have towards nonhuman animals? What should our attitude be about factory farming and the use of animals in medical research? What are the moral implications of attributing certain mental states to animals? Do humans have duties toward animals and how seriously should we take the interests of animals in our decision making? Speciesism is the view that human beings have an inherent right to dominate nonhuman species and use them for human ends. We will examine critics as well as proponents of the morality of speciesism. This involves exploring several areas in philosophy such as Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Biology, and applying them to the use of nonhumans in areas such as Agriculture, Medicine, Biology and Psychology. This will raise issues concerning the nature of moral and legal rights and whether nonhuman animals should have them, and the nature and adequacy of current legal protections for animals, as well as the relationships between human rights, animal rights and environmental rights.