Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Final Topics

Yesterday, we began talking about ethics and animals.

We read one page about fur farming and trapping. If you missed this page, get it from me. It gives some information. I asked students whether they think it seems wrong to treat animals these ways, for these purposes. We briefly discussed your reasons to think this is MP and reasons to think it's wrong.

We watched a short video called "The Future is in Their Hands". http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=future_hands Much of the argument from this video overlaps with Singer.

Reading next week:
OPS DUE WEDNESDAY OF THIS: Peter Singer's widely reprinted "All Animals Are Equal" found in RTD. The article is bit abstract, since it's mostly a diagnosis of why racism and sexism are wrong, the illumination of a principle of "equal consideration of interests," and then an application to animals. Some better versions of this reprint contain some brilliant stuff about seeing things from the point of view of those oppressed and making a mental switch from that point of view: brilliant stuff.

Please also read the sections on animals in the Elements of Moral Philosophy Chapter on Utilitarianism, pp. 104-108 I believe (but check this).

Next week this reading and OPS will be assigned; OPS due FRIDAY:
John Simmons, "Reasonable Humans and Animals": http://aphilosopher.googlepages.com/veg.pdf

I give students a booklet near the beginning called "Even if you eat meat.." http://www.veganoutreach.org/EIYLM.pdf from Vegan Outreach http://www.veganoutreach.org/ This is chock full of information, all from industry sources, major print media, etc.

I will give a final paper assignment on these topics as well, coming soon.