How to Count Animals, More or Less (Paperback)
Most people agree that animals count morally. But how, exactly, should we take animals into account? According to a prominent position in contemporary philosophical discussions, animals and people have the very same moral status, so in our moral deliberations the otherwise similar interests of people and animals should be given the same weight and consideration. In How to Count Animals, more or less, Shelly Kagan rejects this view. In its place, Kagan sets out and defends a hierarchical approach, one in which people count more than animals do and some animals count more than others. Unfortunately, most moral theories have not been developed in such a way as to take into account these differences in moral status. By arguing for a hierarchical account of morality--and exploring what appropriate, status sensitive principles might look like--Kagan reveals just how much work needs to be done to arrive at an adequate view of our duties toward animals, and of morality more generally.
Shelly Kagan, Clark Professor of Philosophy, Yale University Shelly Kagan is the Clark Professor of Philosophy at Yale, where he has taught since 1995. He was an undergraduate at Wesleyan University and received his PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1982. Before coming to Yale, Professor Kagan taught at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of The Limits of Morality, Normative Ethics, and The Geometry of Desert. The videos of his undergraduate class on death (available online) have been popular around the world, and the book based on the course, Death, was a national bestseller in South Korea.