John R. Wallach
This essay discusses the contribution of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue (1981) to a generation of moral theory. Pitched as a critique of liberal individualism (e.g., Rawls), modernity (e.g., amoral bureaucracies), and the antagonism toward the history of moral theory evinced by analytical philosophers, MacIntyre’s book urges a return toward moral traditions embedded in local communities as the best route to avoid what he regards as the soullessness of modernity and the abyss of Nietzschean philosophy. But his failure to reflect on the political valence of traditions in general or the Aristotelian and Thomist ones he values, seriously compromises his complaints about modernity and his suggestions for ways out.
Although the presence of animals in our lives seems natural, it is not; it depends on work. But we don’t know what work means for a dog, a horse, or a cow. This chapter proposes a concept of animal work, and argues that there is a subjective involvement of animals in work and intersubjective relations between humans and animals at work. This working is based on a range of structural elements that reflect human work and demonstrate that animals are implicated in work. However, animals also show at work their own way of seeing work according to what the context of production allows, their resistance and their propositions. Faced with an anthropological rupture with animals and the end of domestication, driven by alimentation biotech firms and abolitionists, it is now more important than ever to understand the building blocks of the human-animal bond, such as animal work.
This chapter contrasts the dominant sense of the phrase “animals as legal subjects,” which minimizes fundamental protections for nonhuman animals, with alternative senses of the same phrase that focus on nonhuman animals’ realities, such as consciousness and intelligence. Support for the alternatives comes from developments within different domains, including legal education and society more broadly, where the meaning of such phrases as “legal person,” “legal personhood,” and “legal rights” is being debated regarding companion animals, wildlife, and many other forms of life. The upshot of the debate taking place over the status of nonhuman animals in law and broader phenomenon of human exceptionalism is a wide-ranging discussion of additional forms of animal protection.
For all recorded history domestic animals have been considered objects within the legal system, classified as personal property, the primary focus being on what an owner can do with property or how an owner can protect property from intrusions of others or the government. More recently, our society has developed a new perspective, focusing not on the owners’ rights but on the animals themselves and what level of protection and concern they should be given, regardless of the issue of ownership. To aid in the process of giving animals more visibility within the legal system, it is necessary to remove them from the category of personal property and place them in a new category of “living property.” Once this happens, the allocation of legal rights to domestic animals can begin on a clean slate allowing the issues of animal rights and legal personhood to be directly addressed.
A discrepancy exists between the legal and perceived status of livestock. Legally, food animals are property, but their thing-like status is unstable and does not determine how they are perceived in practice. The extent to which food animals are regarded as commodities or sentient beings is therefore contextually contingent, oscillates, and is riddled with inconsistency. To understand livestock as a sentient commodity is to attend to, and (re)contextualize, the contradictory and changeable nature of the perceived status of commodified animals in food animal productive contexts, and to how stockpeople experience and manage this perceptual paradox in practice. Bringing to the fore the relatively mundane aspect of human-livestock relations not only upsets commonly held assumptions that productive animals are nothing more than mere commodities, it also highlights the non-productive aspects of stockpeople’s roles that have, to date, been typically overlooked or underexplored.
This chapter analyzes the systematic relationship of Carl Schmitt’s oeuvre to rhetoric, arguing that his work cannot be detached from its engagement in a simultaneously metaphysical and historical polemic. The encounter between history and metaphysics manifests in the dimension of the commonplace. Schmitt’s contributions to political theory can be understood as attempts to shift the commonplaces through which his time defines itself. Tracing the influence of Schmitt’s early literary criticism on his legal writing, the chapter demonstrates that for him, literature is a school of rhetoric, an exemplary dimension in more than one sense: it is a normative, ethical, and stylistic authority. While Schmitt’s books are contributions to specific legal, political, and critical discourse, they also claim to contribute to the great and urgent concerns of a community. This dimension inherits the genus grande and places his oeuvre at the limits of rhetoric.
Cetacean cognition at the level of the individual is complex and highly sophisticated and shares a number of characteristics with human and other great ape cognitive features. At the same time, in the social setting, capacities and propensities appear to emerge that are unique to cetaceans. This chapter explores cetacean cognition at the levels of the individual (language, pointing and reference, self-awareness, innovation and imitation, body image, self-recognition, self-imitation, and metacognition) and the social group (social complexity and networking, culture) and concludes that dolphins can only thrive as reflexive thinkers in a natural social group. Dolphins in captivity often suffer from psychological disturbances and abnormalities, poor health, and, ultimately, high mortality rates.
David Ponet and Ethan J. Leib
The “systemic turn” in deliberative democractic theory builds off the critical insight that one instance or site of deliberation does not legitimate an entire political system. But accepting too easily that non-deliberative parts can contribute to a deliberative sum can risk deliberative democracy’s aspirations for reform. This chapter examines three evolving areas of deliberative lawmaking—administrative lawmaking, districting commissions, and deliberative plebiscites—that underscore the ongoing relevance and promise of “second wave” deliberative democratic institutional design. The “notice and comment” structure of administrative rule-making, for instance, can invite the admission of multiple voices into the lawmaking process, especially when combined with the court’s role in incentivizing such practice. The trend toward nonpartisan or bipartisan commissions establishing legislative district lines can also generate powerful deliberative democratic dividends. Similarly, practices in plebisicitary democracy—whether through instances such as citizen policy juries or other directly democratic mechanisms—can contribute toward the deliberative democratization of law and society.
Paul B. Thompson
This chapter summarizes two strands of work on the ethics of food animal production. A dietetic tradition emphasizes the questions of whether and under what conditions consumption of animal protein is morally acceptable. For those who do not adopt some form of ethical vegetarianism, this approach has typically favored more traditional approaches to husbandry. A productionist tradition focuses on the potential for ethically motivated change in livestock production methods and policy. Beginning with the Brambell Committee’s five freedoms, this identifies indicators for multiple dimensions of food animal well-being, and recommends changes in existing industrial production systems. The multiple dimensions of welfare differ from one food animal species to another, and opinion is divided between members of the lay public, who tend to favor indicators relating to an animal’s ability to perform behaviors thought typical, normal, or natural, and scientific experts, who tend to favor cognitive affect and veterinary health.
Matthew H. Kramer
H. L. A. Hartʼs The Concept of Law is, of course, primarily a work of legal philosophy. It is indeed the most influential work of legal philosophy in the English language (and perhaps in any language) published during the twentieth century. However, the immense importance of the book for philosophers of law should not prevent readers from discerning its importance for political and moral philosophers as well. Hartʼs insights into the nature of law and sovereignty are themselves of great significance for political philosophy, and the second half of The Concept of Law contains ruminations on justice and on the relationships between law and morality that deserve attention from anyone who aspires to think clearly about the problems of political philosophy.
The argument that animals are agents is becoming ever more commonplace and forms part of a wider posthumanist intellectual project that reconsiders the power and role of nonhuman forces in both the past and the present. However, according agency to nonhumans raises significant methodological and theoretical issues. Informed by the approaches of Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, and others, this chapter offers an overview of the varied ways in which scholars have attributed agency to animals. After considering how animals have historically been denied agency, it explores how animals are agents imbued with a degree of intentionality. It then investigates how animal agents have physically shaped past and present societies and the problematic nonhuman-agency-as-resistance model. This typology is intended to show that animals possess agency, but that claims of animal agency need to be made carefully to better capture the hybrid world we inhabit.
Tobias Berger and Milli Lake
This chapter examines the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy by external actors in areas of limited statehood. It begins with the definition of key terms and a brief overview of the historical trajectory in which contemporary interventions by external actors unfold. We then discuss cross-cutting issues and introduce the key actors involved in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. Analysing each of these issue areas in turn, we make three overarching arguments. Firstly, we highlight the multiplicity of outcomes that result from external interventions, whose impacts prove highly unevenly and spatially dispersed. Secondly, we emphasize the crucial influence of local actors and pre-existing institutions in shaping the outcomes of any governance intervention. Finally, we note that external actors have tended to rely on state-centric conceptualizations of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
This chapter investigates the relationship between the concepts of international justice and international law. It suggests that the idea of an international rule of law is constructed on procedural, rather than substantive, accounts of justice. Against the background of two opposing tendencies in the international legal order that influence ideas of international justice, namely the Westphalian and UN Charter accounts, the chapter considers various attempts to incorporate notions of justice in the international legal order. Examples are drawn from the 1970s campaign for a New International Economic Order at the UN, from international adjudication, from feminist campaigns, and from the work of international legal scholars such as Thomas Franck and Steven Ratner. The chapter argues that the concept of international justice has become associated largely with international criminal law, and indicates the limitations of this linkage.
This chapter probes the way in which description, prescription, and critique form a congeries of approaches that together, in turn, produce an intellectual field that might be described as the political theory of international law (though it is hardly one thing, and some of it refuses altogether the injunctions of traditional political theory). All of this will lead to an examination of two particular problems of international diplomacy to which political theories of international law appear to have responded: namely, intervention and war crimes trials, and an engagement with two interdisciplinary turns (to History and to International Relations) through which international law has enlivened its habits of thought and theoretical inclinations.
This chapter analyzes three major assumptions in Joseph Raz’s book The Morality of Freedom (MF): its account of legitimate authority, its rejection of egalitarianism, and its defense of an autonomy-based perfectionism. It first summarizes the book’s main line of argument about how a concern for freedom should figure in moral reflection regarding the value and purpose of political practices. It then examines MF’s repudiation of the conventional self-image of liberalism, and in particular utilitarian consequentialism. It also considers Raz’s claim that the trajectory that liberal thought has described in the wake of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice is misguided. Finally, it discusses Raz’s strategy for reconciling a commitment to liberal freedom with a perfectionist political morality as it relates to the claim that autonomy is an essential aspect of individual flourishing.
This chapter takes stock of the main scholarly and policy debates pertaining to the rise of violent and criminal governors. First, it delves into the reasons that drive these actors towards investing in governance; emphasizing the usefulness of governance provision to extract resources, enhance control, built legitimacy, and fulfil state-building aspirations. Second, the chapter briefly accounts for the main variations in the types of governance configurations established by criminal and violent actors, focusing on when and where these actors act as governors; what types of services they are likely to provide and to whom, as well as on how governance itself is delivered. This cursory examination, along with an analysis of the relationships these groups build while acting as governors, allows us to reflect on the impact of these non-state governors on the civilian population under their rule, as well as on the notions of sovereignty and statehood more broadly.