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Nonideal Ethics and Arguments against Eating Animals

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Arguments for veganism don't make many vegans, or even many who think they ought to be vegans, at least when they are written by philosophers. Those written by others - such as Jonathan Safran Foer - seem to do a bit better. Why? To answer this question, I sketch a theory of ordinary moral argumentation that highlights the importance of meaning-based considerations when arguing that people ought to act in ways that deviate from normal expectations for behaviour. In particular, I outline an eclectic theory, where we draw on a variety of moral frameworks and don't assume that morality is generally overriding. I suggest that meaning-based considerations help us sort through the array of reasons available to us, as well as explain why, in a particular case, what we ought to do morally is what we ought to do all things considered.
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Keywords: Jonathan Safran Foer; Veganism; nonideal theory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2019

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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 a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 2.158. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.047.
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