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A Philosophical Review of Nature's and Animal Rights - Essay Example

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A Philosophical Review of Nature's and Animal Rights

In contrast, Tom Regan disputes that there is a difference between ‘having an interest in something’ and ‘taking an interest in it’ (Varner, 1998, 55), which then implies that domestic species, being mindless species, have innate biological interests. Regan thus defined biological interest in this way: “the two senses really are logically distinct: A being can be interested in something that is not in his interests, and something may be in a being’s interest despite the fact that he is not interested in” (Varner, 1998, 55). This means that domestic species, having no conscious desires in any way, have biological interest of their own. Regan added that plants and objects can reasonably be thought to have biological interests, since both have intrinsic values in their own breed. On the other hand, Gary Varner (1994) argues that if all living things have biological interests, then it is implausible to prevent spoiling countless biological interests of others. Varner cited John Passmore’s passage to define biological interest: “the Jainist principle [of avoiding harm to all living things]… is far too strong. This is the more obvious now that we are aware of the minute living organisms which everywhere surround us. In breathing, in drinking, in eating, in excreting, we kill. We kill by remaining alive” (as cited in Varner, 1998, 77). This implies that nonhuman animals and plants have biological interests of their own, but lose these biological interests when confronted with the biological interests of human beings. However, if domestic species do not have biological interests, it is still possible that they have inherent or intrinsic worth as shown by the arguments of Paul Taylor, Tom Regan, and Peter Singer. First, according to Taylor (1981), to argue that a nonhuman animal has inherent worth is to assume that its interests [Taylor believes that domestic species have biological interests] merit the respect and thought of every moral agent. Moreover, the recognition of its interests has intrinsic value, to be realized as an objective and on behalf of the being whose interest it is. Taylor further argues that inherent worth is “not some mysterious sort of objective property belonging to living things that can be discovered by empirical observation or scientific investigation” (Taylor, 1981, 204). Hence, to say that a domestic species, which would not exist without human interference, have no inherent worth is wrong since, according to Taylor, inherent worth cannot be determined by inductive reasoning or sense perception. Ultimately, Taylor (1981) believes that inherent worth is a “value that is ascribed to nonhuman animals and plants themselves, independently of their relationship to what humans judge to be conducive to their own good” (p. 204). Hence, with or without human interference, domestic species have inherent worth. Similarly, Tom Regan states that “the presence of inherent value in a natural object is independent of any awareness, interest, or appreciation of it by any conscious being” (Varner, 1994, 26). Domestic species have inherent value, and it is equal to that of human beings. The lack of intellect or reason is not a justification to say that nonhuman animals do not possess inherent value. Likewise, Peter Singer claim that if a nonhuman animal has a particular feature, like biological inter ...Show more


Running Head: Environmental Ethics A Philosophical Review of Nature’s and Animal Rights Case Analyses Name Name of Professor Question 1 As stated by Gary Varner, biological interest has been defined by Feinberg (1974) as “an interest, however the concept is finally to be analyzed, presupposes at least rudimentary cognitive equipment…
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A Philosophical Review of Natures and Animal Rights essay example
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