- Animals in Classical and Late Antique Philosophy
- Animals and Ethics in the History of Modern Philosophy
- Interacting with Animals: A Kantian Account
- Virtue Ethics and the Treatment of Animals
- A Humean Account of the Status and Character of Animals
- Utilitarianism and Animals
- Rights Theory and Animal Rights
- The Capabilities Approach and Animal Entitlements
- The Idea of Moral Standing
- Animals, Fundamental Moral Standing, and Speciesism
- Human Animals and Nonhuman Persons
- Are Nonhuman Animals Persons?
- Animal Mentality: Its Character, Extent, and Moral Significance
- Mindreading and Moral Significance in Nonhuman Animals
- Minimal Minds
- Beyond Anthropomorphism: Attributing Psychological Properties to Animals
- Animal Pain and Welfare: Can Pain Sometimes Be Worse for Them than for Us?
- Animals That Act for Moral Reasons
- The Moral Life of Animals
- On the Origin of Species Notions and Their Ethical Limitations
- On the Nature of Species and the Moral Significance of their Extinction
- Are All Species Equal?
- Genetically Modified Animals: Should There Be Limits to Engineering the Animal Kingdom?
- Human/Nonhuman Chimeras: Assessing the Issues
- The Moral Relevance of the Distinction Between Domesticated and Wild Animals
- The Moral Significance of Animal Pain and Animal Death
- The Ethics of Confining Animals: From Farms to Zoos to Human Homes
- Keeping Pets
- Animal Experimentation in Biomedical Research
- Ethical Issues in the Application of Biotechnology to Animals in Agriculture
- Environmental Ethics, Hunting, and the Place of Animals
- The Use of Animals in Toxicological Research
- What's Ethics Got to Do with it?: The Roles of Government Regulation in Research-Animal Protection
- Literary Works and Animal Ethics
Abstract and Keywords
This article notes that, of all the traditional, mainstream ethical theories, none has been more disposed over the centuries to sympathetic consideration of the pains of animals than utilitarianism. By using a sentiency criterion of moral standing, Jeremy Bentham ensured that the pain and suffering of animals counted in the moral calculus. According to his theory, their pains confer on them moral considerability; and every utilitarian since Bentham has endorsed the sentiency criterion. The discussion in this article examines why utilitarians up to the present day have accepted the sentiency criterion and yet almost routinely failed, with specificity, to include animals within the calculus of utility in their general moral philosophies. Bentham was the first to exhibit this shortcoming. The article holds that in the last four decades, Peter Singer was the first utilitarian in the 1970s to take animals seriously.
R. G. Frey (D.Phil., Oxford) is the author of numerous books and articles in normative and applied ethics and in the history of ethics. He is Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University and a Senior Research Fellow in the Social Philosophy and Policy Center there.
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