Essay Peter Singer 's Argument On Animal Ethics

1045 Words Jun 8th, 2016 null Page
Peter Singer makes a substantial argument regarding animal ethics, and although the term ‘specicism’ has existed for some time, Singer really brings popular attention towards it. In order to make a firm decision on the plausibility of Singer’s argument, I will be looking closely at Shelley Kagan, who criticises Singer’s argument in itself, as well as an earlier writer who discussed animal ethics, namely, Immanuel Kant. By looking at critics of Singer’s ideas, we can then discuss which view is more convincing.
In order to understand how specicism may be similar to racism, it is first necessary to define specicism. Specicism is, a prejudice or a bias that favours the interests of an individual’s own species against other species, which Singer describes as the dominant view of how animals have been treated, even to this day (Singer 8-9). If this is to be understood as a good definition of specicism, then almost all humans are indeed speciesists, and Singer argues that we should give equal consideration of interests, irrespective of the species (Singer 49-54). However, every day without justification, humans do not count the interests of animals equal with our own simply on the grounds of species alone. To say that humans have different interests, is not in itself specicism. Speciesists do not take into consideration the various characteristics, such as autonomy, or the ability to reason, this however, can be looked at as a ‘disguised specicism’ (Singer). Such arguments that…

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