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Is Singer's Ethics Speciesist?

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To show favouritism toward humans has been considered a prejudice, otherwise known as 'human chauvinism', 'anthropocentrism' or 'speciesism'. Peter Singer is one philosopher in particular who holds this view. In this paper I argue that there is a lack of coherence between his ethical ideology and his actual ethical theory. Singer's ethics in crucial respects exhibits favouritism toward humans, which is something he fails to justify non-partially and plausibly. It would thus be an instance of speciesism, in a sense of this term that he probably would accept. This, however, does not mean that his ethics should be rejected or is impossible to defend.

Keywords: Hare; Singer; animals; ethics; partiality; speciesism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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