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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A basic tool of scholarly ethics is argument analysis—the process of evaluating the soundness of the premises and the validity of arguments that underlie a particular ethical claim. We apply that technique to the controversial concern about the appropriateness of hunting wolves. Advocates of wolf hunting offer a variety of reasons that it is appropriate. We inspect the quality of these reasons using the principles of argument analysis. Our application of this technique indicates that wolf hunting in the coterminous United States is inappropriate. A value of argument analysis for public discourse is its transparency. If we have misapplied the principles of argument analysis, critics will readily be able to identify our error. While this particular application of argument analysis is contingent on details particular to wolves and the desire to hunt them, this essay has the addition value of illustrating one of the basic tools used in scholarly ethics.

Keywords: animal studies, animal welfare, conservation, critical thinking, environmental ethics, hunting, wolves

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