Essay Philosophical Ethics

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One might respond that it is not membership in a biological category that matters morally, but rather the social meaning of those categories, meanings that structure not only the institutions we operate within, but how we conceptualize ourselves and our world.

Humans have developed moral systems as well as a wide range of other valuable practices, and by creating these systems, we separate the human from the rest of the animal kingdom.

According to this line of thought, speciesism isn’t focused on discrimination or prejudice but is a central tool for creating human (and white) supremacy or exceptionalism.

Like speciesism, human exceptionalism can be understood in different ways.

The view that only humans are morally considered is sometimes referred to as “speciesism”.

In the 1970s, Richard Ryder coined this term while campaigning in Oxford to denote a ubiquitous type of human centered prejudice, which he thought was similar to racism.The most common way of understanding it is to suggest that there are distinctly human capacities and it is on the basis of these capacities that humans have moral status and other animals do not.But which capacities mark out all and only humans as the kinds of beings that can be wronged?Similarly the speciesist allows the interests of his own species to override the greater interests of members of other species. (Singer 1974: 108) Discrimination based on race, like discrimination based on species is thought to be prejudicial, because these are not characteristics that matter when it comes to making moral claims.Speciesist actions and attitudes are prejudicial because there is no is certainly a distinguishing feature of humans—humans share a genetic make-up and a distinctive physiology, we all emerge from a human pregnancy, but this is unimportant from the moral point of view.He objected to favoring one’s own species, while exploiting or harming members of other species.Peter Singer popularized the term and focused on the way speciesism, without moral justification, favors the interests of humans: the racist violates the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of his own race, when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race.To say that a being deserves moral consideration is to say that there is a moral claim that this being can make on those who can recognize such claims.A morally considerable being is a being who can be wronged.One of the ways that non-human animals negotiate their social environments is by being particularly attentive to the emotional states of others around them.When a conspecific is angry, it is a good idea to get out of his way.


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