This course will explore a range of philosophical theories of and ethical issues involved in nonhuman animal (“animal” for short) welfare. We will read classic, contemporary, and feminist perspectives on animal ethics as well as Lori Gruen’s recently published edited volume The Ethics of Captivity which will enable us to focus carefully on the dilemmas of captivity. Along the way, we will address issues related to: understanding animal consciousness and animal pain; the ethics of eating animals; the ethics of experimenting on animals; dilemmas of captivity; animals in the wild; animal companions; human/nonhuman conflicts of interest; intersections between animal exploitation and human exploitation; and animal rights. Students will be encouraged to explore and assess all sides of the issues covered. Class sessions will be discussion based and will require both active participation and the timely completion of reading assignments. Written assignments will stress critical thinking and argumentation. This class requires one previous philosophy course.
TEXT: The Ethics of Captivity, Lori Gruen, editor.