|Title:||Contractualism and the Animals Problem|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Department of Philosophy.
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
|Abstract:||Moral contractualism identifies agreement between agents as being the foundation of morality. One of the most notorious and troubling problems for contractualism is that it seems to render unclear the moral status of beings such as non-human animals, who cannot be party to such agreements. Thus, as Mark Rowlands puts it, “it is almost universally supposed that [contractualism] is incompatible with animal rights.” I call this difficulty the ‘Animals Problem’. In the first part of this thesis, I examine in detail three streams of thought in the contractualist tradition: the Kantian contractualism of John Rawls; the Hobbesian contractualism of David Gauthier; and the deliberative contractualism of Nicholas Southwood. The Animals Problem presses upon all three of these versions of contractualism. I consider a wide variety of responses that have been made to the problem from within the frameworks that these three theories offer. I conclude that (for various reasons) all these responses are inadequate. In the second part of this thesis, I offer a positive solution to the Animals Problem. The ‘Care for Animals Solution’ claims that duties and obligations to animals can be grounded in the care and concern that humans feel towards them, because human contractors will be accordingly motivated to agree upon principles that are favourable towards animals. Duties derived in this way are usually thought to be perniciously indirect or contingent, but I argue that there is nothing awry with such moral protection. I defend this solution against a range of objections, including charges that it is ad hoc, indeterminate, and speciesist. I conclude by suggesting that each of the three versions of contractualism can be adjusted to incorporate the Care for Animals Solution.|
|Access Level:||Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Type of Publication:||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|
|Stewart_MRVR_thesis.pdf||Thesis||1.41 MB||Adobe PDF|
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