Deliberating Animal Values: a Pragmatic-Pluralistic Approach to Animal Ethics.

J.F.H. Kupper, J.T. de Cock Buning

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Debates in animal ethics are largely characterized by ethical monism, the search for a single, timeless, and essential trait in which the moral standing of animals can be grounded. In this paper, we argue that a monistic approach towards animal ethics hampers and oversimplifies the moral debate. The value pluralism present in our contemporary societies requires a more open and flexible approach to moral inquiry. This paper advocates the turn to a pragmatic, pluralistic approach to animal ethics. It contributes to the development of such an approach in two ways. It offers a pragmatist critique of ethical monism in animal ethics and presents the results of a qualitative study into the value diversity present in the different ways of thinking about animals in the Netherlands. Carefully arranged group discussions resulted in the reconstruction of four distinctive moral value frameworks that may serve as instruments in the future process of moral inquiry and deliberation in the reflection on animal use. © 2010 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-450
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Early online date10 May 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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