On the Diversity of Life

Rosemary Rodd

in Biology, Ethics, and Animals

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240525
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680199 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

On the Diversity of Life

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This chapter provides a background to the problem of discussing the nature of animals and their position in human ethics. It demonstrates how inconsistency and over-rigidity in the way humans apply systems of classifying animals have led us to permit unnecessary and avoidable sufferings on them. It also defines what an animal is and discusses the theory of animal rights. Biologist themselves are not in complete agreement about the kinds of creature which should be classified as animals. Part of the disagreement stems from conflicting interpretations of the evidence about relationships between groups of living organisms. Basic knowledge of the groups of organisms gives us broad guidance on identifying those with developed nervous and sensory systems, which may help us in the study of biology and ethics.

Keywords: nature of animals; human ethics; animal rights; living organisms; groupings; sensory systems

Chapter.  11421 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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