AEF Clair Morrissey & Dylan Sabo
April 11 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
APPLIED ETHICS FORUM · DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
‘Can we exploit non-human animals?’
Clair Morrissey & Dylan Sabo (Occidental College)
Thursday 11 Apr 2024 • 5:00pm–7:00pm • LIBR–201
Abstract: Exploitation provides a natural characterization of many ways humans treat non-human animals. However, the literature suggests that exploitation only properly applies to humans. Outcome-based theories are either not applicable to non-human animals, or do not characterize a distinctive moral wrong. Process-based theories are more promising candidates for explaining how non-human animals can be exploited; however, they standardly appeal to notions that limit their extension in this way. We motivate an account of exploitation based on flourishing, according to which exploitation is not tied to some special status or value that is disvalued, but to the fact that the exploiteds’ lives can go better or worse, and their going better or worse depends on the exploiters’ actions with respect to them. This account explains how exploitation can be a distinctive moral wrong that can be visited upon nonhuman animals as well as on humans.