Process Thinking, Individualist Consequentialism, and Animals

Clare Palmer

in Environmental Ethics and Process Thinking

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269526
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683664 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Process Thinking, Individualist Consequentialism, and Animals

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Various utilitarian philosophers including Bentham have extended their ethical concern to human animals. Bentham drew attention to how concern is not determined by whether animals can reason or talk, but rather on whether they are capable of experiencing suffering. Several individualist consequentialist writers have also thought of considering the consequences that human actions have for animals in making ethical decisions. In this chapter, we look into the different approaches presented by Peter Singer, Donald VanDe Veer, and Robin Attfield — hedonistic and preference utilitarianism, two-factor egalitarianism, and practice-consequentialism. Encountering a variety of problems cannot be avoided in terms of individualist consequentialism in environmental ethics, and this chapter also looks into some of the possible difficulties in such processes.

Keywords: animals; environmental ethics; individualist consequentialism; hedonistic and preference utilitarianism; egalitarianism; practice-consequentialism

Chapter.  10859 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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