By Stephen T. Newmyer

This groundbreaking quantity explores Plutarch's special survival within the argument that animals are rational and sentient, and that we, as people, needs to take become aware of in their interests.

Exploring Plutarch's 3 animal-related treatises, in addition to passages from his moral treatises, Stephen Newmyer examines arguments that, strikingly, foreshadow these present in the works of such admired animal rights philosophers as Peter Singer and Tom Regan.

Unique in viewing Plutarch’s reviews not just within the context of old philosophical and moral via, but additionally instead within the background of animal rights hypothesis, Animals Rights and Reasons issues out how remarkably Plutarch differs from such anti-animal thinkers because the Stoics.

Classicists, philosophers, animal-welfare scholars and readers will all locate this e-book a useful and informative addition to their reading.

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Extra resources for Animals, Rights and Reason in Plutarch and Modern Ethics

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Aristotimus, defender of the superiority of land-dwellers, reintroduces the motif of the hunt at the opening of the synkrisis, asserting that the comparison of the two lifestyles should properly be viewed as a debate on the question of which sort of animals more successfully sharpen the wits of the hunter by pitting a human being against the craftiness and bravery of animals, qualities which no one would reasonably claim for sea-dwelling animals (966A). He declares it downright dishonorable and meanspirited to hunt some fishes because they are utterly lacking in cleverness and 41 THE NATURE OF THE BEAST guile ( μ χανον λως κα π νουργον, 966B).

He declares it downright dishonorable and meanspirited to hunt some fishes because they are utterly lacking in cleverness and 41 THE NATURE OF THE BEAST guile ( μ χανον λως κα π νουργον, 966B). A subtle difference is detectable in this second discussion of hunting. Whereas earlier, Soclarus had maintained that the pleasure afforded by hunting arises from the pitting of human wit against mindless animal strength ( ν ητον σχ ν, 959C), now Aristotimus modifies this significantly to declare that hunting is a battle of wits between adversaries who differ in strength and wit.

The question of moral agency has taken on considerable importance in the thought of some prominent animal rights philosophers. Tom Regan agrees with the Stoics that animals are not moral agents and cannot therefore do right or wrong, but the conclusion he draws from this position differs radically from that implicit in Stoic doctrine. Because animals cannot act morally, the Stoics conclude, human beings have the right to use them as they see fit since, after all, moral discourse with them is precluded by their irrationality.

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