A Worry about Telos Theory

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Peter J. Markie Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Science, University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211 USA

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With his account of the rights stemming from the telos-based interests of nonhuman animals, Bernard Rollin in, A New Basis for Animal Ethics, advances our understanding of animal ethics in a way that both can and should guide our behavior. Nonetheless, telos theory needs to be developed to capture the existence of moral rights that are not based in particular aspects of an animal’s telos. I argue for the existence and importance of such rights, propose a way to capture them within telos theory, and consider their implication for the argument from marginal cases.

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