Posted: March 12th, 2023



Introduction to Philosophy First Paper:
Puppies, Pigs, and People

  • Purpose
  • The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your comprehension of an original piece of

    moral philosophy.

    This assignment will help you practice the following skills:

    • Reading comprehension.

    • Identifying the parts of an argument.

    • Critiquing the force of an argument.

    • Presenting a philosophical idea in writing.

    This assignment will help you become familiar with the following content:

    • Animal Ethics

    • Logic

  • Task
  • In this paper you will be summarizing and explaining Alastair Norcross’s argument that it is

    immoral for consumers eat the meat of factory-farmed animals.

    Step One

    Begin by describing the puppy torture story and its purpose in Alastair Norcross’s paper.

    What is Fred doing and why? How is Fred supposedly analogous to your average

    American meat eater? (2 paragraphs minimum,



    Step Two

    At the end of section 1, Norcross says “No decent person would even contemplate

    torturing puppies merely to enhance a gustatory experience… If we are prepared to

    condemn Fred for torturing puppies merely to enhance his gustatory experiences,

    shouldn’t we similarly condemn the millions who purchase and consume factory-raised

    meat? Are there any morally significant differences between Fred’s behavior and their


    This can be paraphrased as the following premises:

    1. What Fred is doing when he tortures puppies for his gustatory pleasure is


    2. If what Fred is doing when he tortures puppies for his gustatory pleasure is

    wrong, then either what the average American meat eater does when they buy

    factory farmed meat is wrong or there is some morally significant difference


    Fred’s behavior and theirs.

    At the end of section 2, Norcross says “I have been unable to discover any morally

    relevant differences between the behavior of Fred, the puppy torturer, and the behavior

    of the millions of people who purchase and consume factory-raised meat, at least those

    who do so in the knowledge that the animals live lives of suffering and deprivation. If

    morality demands that we not torture puppies merely to enhance our own eating

    pleasure, morality also demands that we not support factory farming by purchasing

    factory-raised meat.”

    This can be paraphrased as the following premises:

    3. Either what the average American meat eater does when they buy factory

    farmed meat is wrong or there is some morally significant difference between

    Fred’s behavior and theirs.

    4. There are no morally significant differences between Fred’s behavior and the

    behavior of the average American meat eater when they buy factory farmed meat.

    And although he himself leaves his conclusion implicit, we can state it thus:

    5. Therefore, what the average American meat eater does when they buy factory

    farmed meat is wrong.

    Put these premises and the conclusion into your paper as a deductively valid argument,

    and explain what it means that the argument is valid. You have permission to copy

    statements 1-5 verbatim without citing this prompt. (2 paragraphs, 20 points.)

    This section depends on ideas in logic that we haven’t covered in-depth. So, all you need

    to do in this section is to copy the argument consisting of 1-5 into your essay (keep the

    numbers), and explain that the argument is valid since, if all of its premises are true,

    then its conclusion must be true as well, and therefore, if we want to reject Norcross’s

    conclusion, we must also reject one of his premises.

    Step Three

    Describe three of the possible differences between us and Fred that Norcross considers

    in section 2 and explain how he dismisses each possibility as ingenuous or morally

    irrelevant. (3 paragraphs, 30 points.)

    Step Four

    Although he himself does not endorse it, in section 4 Norcross introduces the idea he

    calls “the rationality gambit” that says that humans possess a moral status superior to

    that of animals because humans possess superior rationality (i.e. humans are much

    smarter than animals). Norcross quotes Bonnie Steinbock, Mary Anne Warren, and Carl

    Cohen defending this idea. In your own words, describe the reasons these philosophers

    give for thinking that our superior rationality also gives us a moral status superior to that

    of animals. (2 paragraphs minimum, 20 points.)

    Step Five

    Norcross claims that rationality is not the defining condition of moral worth. Explain

    why. Be sure to mention marginal cases, the concepts of moral patienthood, moral

    agenthood, their definitions, and which one applies to animals. (2 paragraphs minimum,

    20 points.)

    Step Six

    Do you agree or disagree with Norcross’s conclusion that the vast majority of meat eaters

    in America (and elsewhere) are no better than a puppy torturer? If you agree with him,

    will this change what you eat and how you think of meat eaters? How so, and why or why

    not? If you disagree with his conclusion then there must be something wrong with his

    premises. Which of his premises would you reject and why? (1 paragraph minimum, 20


  • Criteria for Success
  • Your paper must be in double-spaced, professional 12-point font. The text must be left-aligned.

    Give it an appropriate title and bold and/or underline the title. Make sure your name and date

    are on it, but don’t put the name of the professor.

    • Every step of the task is completed, and in the proper order.

    • Every step is written primarily in your own words. You may quote Locke or Parfit, or any

    of the course material, but if you do be sure to use proper attribution, and don’t go

    overboard with it. You should not be citing or quoting outside sources.

    • The paper does not contain any “filler,” i.e. sentences unrelated to the prompt or their

    paragraph’s main idea.

    • The paper has the proper typesetting spelling, grammar, paragraph structure and


    Correctly following these criteria is worth 20 points.





      Criteria for Success

    Philosophical Perspectives, 18, Ethics, 2004


    Alastair Norcross

    Rice University

    1. Fred’s Basement

    Consider the story of Fred, who receives a visit from the police one day.
    They have been summoned by Fred’s neighbors, who have been disturbed by
    strange sounds emanating from Fred’s basement. When they enter the basement
    they are confronted by the following scene: Twenty-six small wire cages, each
    containing a puppy, some whining, some whimpering, some howling. The
    puppies range in age from newborn to about six months. Many of them show
    signs of mutilation. Urine and feces cover the bottoms of the cages and the
    basement floor. Fred explains that he keeps the puppies for twenty-six weeks,
    and then butchers them while holding them upside-down. During their lives he
    performs a series of mutilations on them, such as slicing off their noses and their
    paws with a hot knife, all without any form of anesthesia. Except for the
    mutilations, the puppies are never allowed out of the cages, which are barely
    big enough to hold them at twenty-six weeks. The police are horrified, and
    promptly charge Fred with animal abuse. As details of the case are publicized,
    the public is outraged. Newspapers are flooded with letters demanding that Fred
    be severely punished. There are calls for more severe penalties for animal abuse.
    Fred is denounced as a vile sadist.

    Finally, at his trial, Fred explains his behavior, and argues that he is
    blameless and therefore deserves no punishment. He is, he explains, a great
    lover of chocolate. A couple of years ago, he was involved in a car accident,
    which resulted in some head trauma. Upon his release from hospital, having
    apparently suffered no lasting ill effects, he visited his favorite restaurant and
    ordered their famous rich dark chocolate mousse. Imagine his dismay when he
    discovered that his experience of the mousse was a pale shadow of its former
    self. The mousse tasted bland, slightly pleasant, but with none of the intense
    chocolaty flavor he remembered so well. The waiter assured him that the recipe
    was unchanged from the last time he had tasted it, just the day before his

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    230 / Alastair Norcross

    accident. In some consternation, Fred rushed out to buy a bar of his favorite
    Belgian chocolate. Again, he was dismayed to discover that his experience of the
    chocolate was barely even pleasurable. Extensive investigation revealed that his
    experience of other foods remained unaffected, but chocolate, in all its forms,
    now tasted bland and insipid. Desperate for a solution to his problem, Fred
    visited a renowned gustatory neurologist, Dr. T. Bud. Extensive tests revealed
    that the accident had irreparably damaged the godiva gland, which secretes
    cocoamone, the hormone responsible for the experience of chocolate. Fred
    urgently requested hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Bud informed him that,
    until recently, there had been no known source of cocoamone, other than the
    human godiva gland, and that it was impossible to collect cocoamone from one
    person to be used by another. However, a chance discovery had altered the
    situation. A forensic veterinary surgeon, performing an autopsy on a severely
    abused puppy, had discovered high concentrations of cocoamone in the puppy’s
    brain. It turned out that puppies, who don’t normally produce cocoamone,
    could be stimulated to do so by extended periods of severe stress and suffering.
    The research, which led to this discovery, while gaining tenure for its authors,
    had not been widely publicized, for fear of antagonizing animal welfare groups.
    Although this research clearly gave Fred the hope of tasting chocolate again,
    there were no commercially available sources of puppy-derived cocoamone. Lack
    of demand, combined with fear of bad publicity, had deterred drug companies
    from getting into the puppy torturing business. Fred appeals to the court to
    imagine his anguish, on discovering that a solution to his severe deprivation
    was possible, but not readily available. But he wasn’t inclined to sit around
    bemoaning his cruel fate. He did what any chocolate lover would do. He read
    the research, and set up his own cocoamone collection lab in his basement. Six
    months of intense puppy suffering, followed by a brutal death, produced enough
    cocoamone to last him a week, hence the twenty-six cages. He isn’t a sadist or an
    animal abuser, he explains. If there were a method of collecting cocoamone
    without torturing puppies, he would gladly employ it. He derives no pleasure
    from the suffering of the puppies itself. He sympathizes with those who are
    horrified by the pain and misery of the animals, but the court must realize that
    human pleasure is at stake. The puppies, while undeniably cute, are mere animals.
    He admits that he would be just as healthy without chocolate, if not more so. But
    this isn’t a matter of survival or health. His life would be unacceptably impover-
    ished without the experience of chocolate.

    End of story. Clearly, we are horrified by Fred’s behavior, and unconvinced
    by his attempted justification. It is, of course, unfortunate for Fred that he can
    no longer enjoy the taste of chocolate, but that in no way excuses the imposition
    of severe suffering on the puppies. I expect near universal agreement with this
    claim (the exceptions being those who are either inhumanly callous or thinking
    ahead, and wish to avoid the following conclusion, to which such agreement
    commits them). No decent person would even contemplate torturing puppies
    merely to enhance a gustatory experience. However, billions of animals endure

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 231

    intense suffering every year for precisely this end. Most of the chicken, veal,
    beef, and pork consumed in the US comes from intensive confinement facilities,
    in which the animals live cramped, stress-filled lives and endure unanaesthetized
    mutilations1. The vast majority of people would suffer no ill health from the
    elimination of meat from their diets. Quite the reverse. The supposed benefits
    from this system of factory farming, apart from the profits accruing to agribusi-
    ness, are increased levels of gustatory pleasure for those who claim that they
    couldn’t enjoy a meat-free diet as much as their current meat-filled diets. If we
    are prepared to condemn Fred for torturing puppies merely to enhance his
    gustatory experiences, shouldn’t we similarly condemn the millions who pur-
    chase and consume factory-raised meat? Are there any morally significant
    differences between Fred’s behavior and their behavior?

    2. Fred’s Behavior Compared with Our Behavior

    The first difference that might seem to be relevant is that Fred tortures the
    puppies himself, whereas most Americans consume meat that comes from
    animals that have been tortured by others. But is this really relevant? What if
    Fred had been squeamish and had employed someone else to torture the puppies
    and extract the cocoamone? Would we have thought any better of Fred? Of
    course not.

    Another difference between Fred and many consumers of factory-raised
    meat is that many, perhaps most, such consumers are unaware of the treatment
    of the animals, before they appear in neatly wrapped packages on supermarket
    shelves. Perhaps I should moderate my challenge, then. If we are prepared to
    condemn Fred for torturing puppies merely to enhance his gustatory experi?
    ences, shouldn’t we similarly condemn those who purchase and consume
    factory-raised meat, in full, or even partial, awareness of the suffering endured
    by the animals? While many consumers are still blissfully ignorant of the
    appalling treatment meted out to meat, that number is rapidly dwindling, thanks
    to vigorous publicity campaigns waged by animal welfare groups. Furthermore,
    any meat-eating readers of this article are now deprived of the excuse of

    Perhaps a consumer of factory-raised animals could argue as follows: While
    I agree that Fred’s behavior is abominable, mine is crucially different. If Fred
    did not consume his chocolate, he would not raise and torture puppies (or pay
    someone else to do so). Therefore Fred could prevent the suffering of the
    puppies. However, if I did not buy and consume factory-raised meat, no animals
    would be spared lives of misery. Agribusiness is much too large to respond to
    the behavior of one consumer. Therefore I cannot prevent the suffering of any
    animals. I may well regret the suffering inflicted on animals for the sake of
    human enjoyment. I may even agree that the human enjoyment doesn’t justify
    the suffering. However, since the animals will suffer no matter what I do, I may
    as well enjoy the taste of their flesh.

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    232 / Alastair Norcross

    There are at least two lines of response to this attempted defense. First,
    consider an analogous case. You visit a friend in an exotic location, say
    Alabama. Your friend takes you out to eat at the finest restaurant in Tusca-
    loosa. For dessert you select the house specialty, “Chocolate Mousse a la
    Bama”, served with a small cup of coffee, which you are instructed to drink
    before eating the mousse. The mousse is quite simply the most delicious dessert
    you have ever tasted. Never before has chocolate tasted so rich and satisfying.
    Tempted to order a second, you ask your friend what makes this mousse so
    delicious. He informs you that the mousse itself is ordinary, but the coffee
    contains a concentrated dose of cocoamone, the newly discovered chocolate-
    enhancing hormone. Researchers at Auburn University have perfected a tech-
    nique for extracting cocoamone from the brains of freshly slaughtered puppies,
    who have been subjected to lives of pain and frustration. Each puppy’s brain
    yields four doses, each of which is effective for about fifteen minutes, just long
    enough to enjoy one serving of mousse. You are, naturally, horrified and
    disgusted. You will certainly not order another serving, you tell your friend.
    In fact, you are shocked that your friend, who had always seemed to be a
    morally decent person, could have both recommended the dessert to you and
    eaten one himself, in full awareness of the loathsome process necessary for the
    experience. He agrees that the suffering of the puppies is outrageous, and that
    the gain in human pleasure in no way justifies the appalling treatment they have
    to endure. However, neither he nor you can save any puppies by refraining from
    consuming cocoamone. Cocoamone production is now Alabama’s leading
    industry, so it is much too large to respond to the behavior of one or two
    consumers. Since the puppies will suffer no matter what either of you does, you
    may as well enjoy the mousse.

    If it is as obvious as it seems that a morally decent person, who is aware of
    the details of cocoamone production, couldn’t order Chocolate Mousse a la
    Bama, it should be equally obvious that a morally decent person, who is aware
    of the details of factory farming, can’t purchase and consume factory-raised
    meat. If the attempted excuse of causal impotence is compelling in the latter
    case, it should be compelling in the former case. But it isn’t.

    The second response to the claim of causal impotence is to deny it. Consider
    the case of chickens, the most cruelly treated of all animals raised for human
    consumption, with the possible exception of veal calves. In 1998, almost 8 billion
    chickens were slaughtered in the US2, almost all of them raised on factory
    farms. Suppose that there are 250 million chicken eaters in the US, and that
    each one consumes, on average, 25 chickens per year (this leaves a fair number
    of chickens slaughtered for nonhuman consumption, or for export). Clearly, if
    only one of those chicken eaters gave up eating chicken, the industry would
    not respond. Equally clearly, if they all gave up eating chicken, billions of
    chickens (approximately 6.25 billion per year) would not be bred, tortured,
    and killed. But there must also be some number of consumers, far short of
    250 million, whose renunciation of chicken would cause the industry to reduce

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 233

    the number of chickens bred in factory farms. The industry may not be able to
    respond to each individual’s behavior, but it must respond to the behavior of
    fairly large numbers. Suppose that the industry is sensitive to a reduction in
    demand for chicken equivalent to 10,000 people becoming vegetarians. (This
    seems like a reasonable guess, but I have no idea what the actual numbers
    are, nor is it important.) For each group of 10,000 who give up chicken, a
    quarter of a million fewer chickens are bred per year. It appears, then, that if
    you give up eating chicken, you have only a one in ten thousand chance of
    making any difference to the lives of chickens, unless it is certain that fewer than
    10,000 people will ever give up eating chicken, in which case you have no
    chance. Isn’t a one in ten thousand chance small enough to render your con-
    tinued consumption of chicken blameless? Not at all. While the chance that your
    behavior is harmful may be small, the harm that is risked is enormous. The
    larger the numbers needed to make a difference to chicken production, the
    larger the difference such numbers would make. A one in ten thousand chance
    of saving 250,000 chickens per year from excruciating lives is morally and
    mathematically equivalent to the certainty of saving 25 chickens per year. We
    commonly accept that even small risks of great harms are unacceptable. That is
    why we disapprove of parents who fail to secure their children in car seats or
    with seat belts, who leave their small children unattended at home, or who drink
    or smoke heavily during pregnancy. Or consider commercial aircraft safety
    measures. The chances that the oxygen masks, the lifejackets, or the emergency
    exits on any given plane will be called on to save any lives in a given week, are
    far smaller than one in ten thousand. And yet we would be outraged to discover
    that an airline had knowingly allowed a plane to fly for a week with non-
    functioning emergency exits, oxygen masks, and lifejackets. So, even if it is
    true that your giving up factory raised chicken has only a tiny chance of
    preventing suffering, given that the amount of suffering that would be prevented
    is in inverse proportion to your chance of preventing it, your continued con?
    sumption is not thereby excused.

    But perhaps it is not even true that your giving up chicken has only a tiny
    chance of making any difference. Suppose again that the poultry industry only
    reduces production when a threshold of 10,000 fresh vegetarians is reached.
    Suppose also, as is almost certainly true, that vegetarianism is growing in
    popularity in the US (and elsewhere). Then, even if you are not the one, newly
    converted vegetarian, to reach the next threshold of 10,000, your conversion will
    reduce the time required before the next threshold is reached. The sooner the
    threshold is reached, the sooner production, and therefore animal suffering, is
    reduced. Your behavior, therefore, does make a difference. Furthermore, many
    people who become vegetarians influence others to become vegetarian, who in
    turn influence others, and so on. It appears, then, that the claim of causal
    impotence is mere wishful thinking, on the part of those meat lovers who are
    morally sensitive enough to realize that human gustatory pleasure does not
    justify inflicting extreme suffering on animals.

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    234 / Alastair Norcross

    Perhaps there is a further difference between the treatment of Fred’s pup?
    pies and the treatment of animals on factory farms. The suffering of the puppies
    is a necessary means to the production of gustatory pleasure, whereas the
    suffering of animals on factory farms is simply a by-product of the conditions
    dictated by economic considerations. Therefore, it might be argued, the suffer?
    ing of the puppies is intended as a means to Fred’s pleasure, whereas the
    suffering of factory raised animals is merely foreseen as a side-effect ofa system
    that is a means to the gustatory pleasures of millions. The distinction between
    what is intended, either as a means or as an end in itself, and what is ‘merely’
    foreseen is central to the Doctrine of Double Effect. Supporters of this doctrine
    claim that it is sometimes permissible to bring about an effect that is merely
    foreseen, even though the very same effect could not permissibly be brought
    about if intended. (Other conditions have to be met in order for the Doctrine of
    Double Effect to judge an action permissible, most notably that there be an
    outweighing good effect.) Fred acts impermissibly, according to this line of
    argument, because he intends the suffering of the puppies as a means to his
    pleasure. Most meat eaters, on the other hand, even if aware of the suffering of
    the animals, do not intend the suffering.

    In response to this line of argument, I could remind the reader that Samuel
    Johnson said, or should have said, that the Doctrine of Double Effect is the last
    refuge ofa scoundrel3.1 won’t do that, however, since neither the doctrine itself,
    nor the alleged moral distinction between intending and foreseeing can justify
    the consumption of factory-raised meat. The Doctrine of Double Effect requires
    not merely that a bad effect be foreseen and not intended, but also that there be
    an outweighing good effect. In the case of the suffering of factory-raised ani?
    mals, whatever good could plausibly be claimed to come out of the system
    clearly doesn’t outweigh the bad. Furthermore, it would be easy to modify the
    story of Fred to render the puppies’ suffering ‘merely’ foreseen. For example,
    suppose that the cocoamone is produced by a chemical reaction that can only
    occur when large quantities of drain-cleaner are forced down the throat of a
    conscious, unanaesthetized puppy. The consequent appalling suffering, while
    not itself a means to the production of cocoamone, is nonetheless an unavoid-
    able side-effect of the means. In this variation of the story, Fred’s behavior is no
    less abominable than in the original.

    One last difference between the behavior of Fred and the behavior of the

    consumers of factory-raised meat is worth discussing, if only because it is so
    frequently cited in response to the arguments of this paper. Fred’s behavior is
    abominable, according to this line of thinking, because it involves the suffering of
    puppies. The behavior of meat-eaters, on the other hand, ‘merely’ involves the
    suffering of chickens, pigs, cows, calves, sheep, and the like. Puppies (and probably
    dogs and eats in general) are morally different from the other animals. Puppies count
    (morally, that is), whereas the other animals don’t, or at least not nearly as much.

    So, what gives puppies a higher moral status than the animals we eat?
    Presumably there is some morally relevant property or properties possessed by

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 235

    puppies but not by farm animals. Perhaps puppies have a greater degree of
    rationality than farm animals, or a more finely developed moral sense, or at
    least a sense of loyalty and devotion. The problems with this kind of approach
    are obvious. It’s highly unlikely that any property that has even an outside
    chance of being ethically relevant4 is both possessed by puppies and not pos-
    sessed by any farm animals. For example, it’s probably true that most puppies
    have a greater degree of rationality (whatever that means) than most chickens,
    but the comparison with pigs is far more dubious. Besides, if Fred were to
    inform the jury that he had taken pains to acquire particularly stupid, morally
    obtuse, disloyal and undevoted puppies, would they (or we) have declared his
    behavior to be morally acceptable? Clearly not. This is, of course, simply the
    puppy version of the problem of marginal cases (which I will discuss later). The
    human version is no less relevant. If their lack of certain degrees of rationality,
    moral sensibility, loyalty, devotion, and the like makes it permissible to torture
    farm animals for our gustatory pleasure, it should be permissible to do the same
    to those unfortunate humans who also lack those properties. Since the latter
    behavior isn’t permissible, the lack of such properties doesn’t justify the former

    Perhaps, though, there is something that separates puppies, even marginal
    puppies (and marginal humans) from farm animals?our sympathy. Puppies
    count more than other animals, because we care more about them. We are
    outraged to hear of puppies abused in scientific experiments, but unconcerned
    at the treatment of laboratory rats or animals on factory farms. Before the 2002
    World Cup, several members of the England team sent a letter to the govern-
    ment of South Korea protesting the treatment of dogs and eats raised for food
    in that country. The same players have not protested the treatment of animals
    on factory farms in England. This example, while clearly illustrating the differ?
    ence in attitudes towards eats and dogs on the one hand, and farm animals on
    the other, also reveals one of the problems with this approach to the question of
    moral status. Although the English footballers, and the English (and US) “ptiblic
    in general, clearly care far more about the treatment of eats and dogs than of
    farm animals, the South Koreans, just as clearly, do not. Are we to conclude
    that Fred’s behavior would not be abominable were he living in South Korea,
    where dogs and eats are routinely abused for the sake of gustatory pleasure?
    Such relativism is, to put it mildly, hard to swallow. Perhaps, though, we can
    maintain the view that human feelings determine the moral status of animals,
    without condoning the treatment of dogs and eats in South Korea (and other
    countries). Not all human feelings count. Only the feelings of those who have
    achieved exactly the right degree of moral sensibility. That just so happens to be
    those in countries like the US and Britain who care deeply for the welfare of
    dogs and eats, but not particularly for the welfare of cows, chickens, pigs, and
    other factory-raised animals. Dog and cat eaters in South Korea are insuffi-
    ciently sensitive, and humane farming advocates in Britain and the US are
    overly so. But, of course, it won’t do simply to insist that this is the right degree

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    236 / Alastair Norcross

    of moral sensibility. We need an explanation of why this is the right degree of
    sensibility. Moral sensibility consists, at least in part, in reacting differently to
    different features of situations, actions, agents, and patients. If the right degree
    of moral sensibility requires reacting differently to puppies and to farm animals,
    there must be a morally relevant difference between puppies and farm animals.
    Such a difference can’t simply consist in the fact that (some) people do react
    differently to them. The appeal to differential human sympathy illustrates a
    purely descriptive psychological difference between the behavior of Fred and
    that of someone who knowingly consumes factory-raised meat. It can do no
    serious moral work.

    I have been unable to discover any morally relevant differences between the
    behavior of Fred, the puppy torturer, and the behavior of the millions of people
    who purchase and consume factory-raised meat, at least those who do so in the
    knowledge that the animals live lives of suffering and deprivation. If morality
    demands that we not torture puppies merely to enhance our own eating pleas?
    ure, morality also demands that we not support factory farming by purchasing
    factory-raised meat.

    3. The Texan’s Challenge

    Perhaps what I have said thus far is enough to convince many that the
    purchase and consumption of factory-raised meat is immoral. It is clear that the
    attribution of a different (and elevated) moral status to puppies from that
    attributed to farm animals is unjustified. But, one philosopher’s modus ponens,
    as they say, is another Texan’s modus tollens. Here is the modus ponens I have
    been urging:

    (1) If it’s wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure, it’s wrong to
    support factory farming.

    (2) It is wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure.
    (3) Therefore it’s wrong to support factory farming.

    But some may be so convinced that supporting factory farming is not wrong
    that they may substitute that conviction for the second premise, and conclude
    that it is not wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure. Thus we are
    confronted with the Texan’s modus tollens:

    (Tl) If it’s wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure, then it’s wrong
    to support factory farming.

    (T2) It’s not wrong to support factory farming.
    (T3) Therefore it’s not wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure.

    I’m not saying that there is a large risk that many people, even Texans, will start
    breeding puppies for food (outside of those countries where it is already

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 237

    accepted practice). What they may do (and have done when I have presented
    them with this argument) is explain their reluctance to do so as a mere senti-
    mental preference, as opposed to a morally mandated choice. They may claim,
    in a somewhat Kantian spirit, that someone who can treat puppies like that may
    be more likely to mistreat humans. They may agree that all animals deserve
    equal consideration of their interests. They may then justify their different
    treatment of animals either on the grounds that they are simply giving some
    animals more than they deserve, or that they are attending to their own interests.
    If the former, they could claim that morality mandates minimal standards of
    conduct, but that nothing prevents us from choosing to go beyond the require-
    ments of morality when we feel like it. If the latter, they could claim that their
    sentimental attachment to puppies, kittens, and the like, makes it in their own
    interests not to raise and kill them for food. Nonetheless, they may insist, in
    terms of moral status, there is a clear difference between humans and other
    animals. Humans have a moral status so far above that of other animals that we

    couldn’t even consider raising humans for food (even humanely), or experiment-
    ing on them without their consent, even though we routinely do such things to
    other animals.

    4. Humans9 versus Animals9 Ethical Status?The Rationality Gambit

    For the purposes of this discussion, to claim that humans have a superior
    ethical status to animals is to claim that it is morally right to give the interests of
    humans greater weight than those of animals in deciding how to behave. Such
    claims will often be couched in terms of rights, such as the rights to life, liberty
    or respect, but nothing turns on this terminological matter. One may claim that
    it is generally wrong to kill humans, but not animals, because humans are
    rational, and animals are not. Or one may claim that the suffering of animals
    counts less than the suffering of humans (if at all), because humans are rational,
    and animals are not. These claims may proceed through the intermediate claim
    that the rights of humans are more extensive and stronger than those (if any) of
    animals. Alternatively, one may directly ground the judgment about the moral
    status of certain types of behavior in claims about the alleged natural properties
    of the individuals involved. Much of the debate over the moral status of

    abortion proceeds along these lines. Many opponents of abortion appeal to
    features that fetuses have in common with adult humans, in order to argue that
    it is, at least usually, just as seriously wrong to kill them as it is to kill us. For
    example, John Noonan claims that it is the possession of a full human genetic
    code that grounds the attribution to fetuses of this exalted ethical status. Such
    an argument may, but doesn’t have to, proceed through the intermediate claim
    that anything that possesses a full human genetic code has a right to life. Many
    proponents of the moral permissibility of abortion, on the other hand, claim
    features such as self-consciousness or linguistic ability as necessary conditions of
    full moral status, and thus deny such status to fetuses.

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    238 / Alastair Norcross

    What could ground the claim of superior moral status for humans? Just as
    the defender ofa higher moral status for puppies than for farm animals needs to
    find some property or properties possessed by puppies but not by farm animals,
    so the defender of a higher moral status for humans need to find some property
    or properties possessed by humans but not by other animals. The traditional
    view, dating back at least to Aristotle, is that rationality is what separates
    humans, both morally and metaphysically, from other animals. With a greater
    understanding of the cognitive powers of some animals, recent philosophers
    have often refined the claim to stress the kind and level of rationality required
    for moral reasoning. Let’s start with a representative sample of three. Consider
    first these claims of Bonnie Steinbock:

    While we are not compelled to discriminate among people because of different
    capacities, if we can find a significant difference in capacities between human
    and non-human animals, this could serve to justify regarding human interests as
    primary. It is not arbitrary or smug, I think, to maintain that human beings
    have a different moral status from members of other species because of certain
    capacities which are characteristic of being human. We may not all be equal in
    these capacities, but all human beings possess them to some measure, and non-
    human animals do not. For example, human beings are normally held to be
    responsible for what they do….Secondly, human beings can be expected to
    reciprocate in a way that non-human animals cannot…Thirdly,…there is the
    kdesire for self-respect’.5

    Similarly, Mary Anne Warren argues that “the rights of persons are generally
    stronger than those of sentient beings which are not persons”. Her main premise
    to support this conclusion is the following:

    [T]here is one difference [between human and non-human nature] which has a
    clear moral relevance: people are at least sometimes capable of being moved to
    action or inaction by the force of reasoned argument.6

    Carl Cohen, one of the most vehement modern defenders of what Peter Singer
    calls ‘speciesism’ states his position as follows:

    Between species of animate life, however?between (for example) humans on
    the one hand and eats or rats on the other?the morally relevant differences are
    enormous, and almost universally appreciated. Humans engage in moral reflec?
    tion; humans are morally autonomous; humans are members of moral commun-
    ities, recognizing just claims against their own interest. Human beings do have
    rights, theirs is a moral status very different from that of eats or rats.7

    So, the claim is that human interests and/or rights are stronger or more
    important than those of animals, because humans possess a kind and level of
    rationality not possessed by animals. How much of our current behavior

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 239

    towards animals this justifies depends on just how much consideration should be
    given to animal interests, and on what rights, if any, they possess. Both Stein-
    bock and Warren stress that animal interests need to be taken seriously into
    account. Warren claims that animals have important rights, but not as impor?
    tant as human rights. Cohen, on the other hand, argues that we should actually
    increase our use of animals.

    5. The Challenge of Marginal Cases

    One of the most serious challenges to this defense of the traditional view
    involves a consideration of what philosophers refer to as ‘marginal cases’.
    Whatever kind and level of rationality is selected as justifying the attribution
    of superior moral status to humans will either be lacking in some humans or
    present in some animals. To take one of the most commonly-suggested features,
    many humans are incapable of engaging in moral reflection. For some, this
    incapacity is temporary, as is the case with infants, or the temporarily cogni?
    tively disabled. Others who once had the capacity may have permanently lost it,
    as is the case with the severely senile or the irreversibly comatose. Still others
    never had and never will have the capacity, as is the case with the severely
    mentally disabled. If we base our claims for the moral superiority of humans
    over animals on the attribution of such capacities, won’t we have to exclude
    many humans? Won’t we then be forced to the claim that there is at least as
    much moral reason to use cognitively deficient humans in experiments and for
    food as to use animals? Perhaps we could exclude the only temporarily disabled,
    on the grounds of potentiality, though that move has its own problems. None?
    theless, the other two categories would be vulnerable to this objection.

    I will consider two lines of response to the argument from marginal cases.
    The first denies that we have to attribute different moral status to marginal
    humans, but maintains that we are, nonetheless, justified in attributing different
    moral status to animals who are just as cognitively sophisticated as marginal
    humans, if not more so. The second admits that, strictly speaking, marginal
    humans are morally inferior to other humans, but proceeds to claim pragmatic
    reasons for treating them, at least usually, as if they had equal status.

    As representatives of the first line of defense, I will consider arguments from

    three philosophers, Carl Cohen, Alan White, and David Schmidtz. First, Cohen:

    [the argument from marginal cases] fails; it mistakenly treats an essential feature
    of humanity as though it were a screen for sorting humans. The capacity for
    moral judgment that distinguishes humans from animals is not a test to be
    administered to human beings one by one. Persons who are unable, because of
    some disability, to perform the full moral functions natural to human beings are
    certainly not for that reason ejected from the moral community. The issue is one
    of kind…What humans retain when disabled, animals have never had.8

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    ————————————————————– You can skip this section.

    240 / Alastair Norcross

    Alan White argues that animals don’t have rights, on the grounds that they
    cannot intelligibly be spoken of in the full language ofa right. By this he means that
    they cannot, for example, claim, demand, assert, insist on, secure, waive, or surrender

    a right. This is what he has to say in response to the argument from marginal cases:

    Nor does this, as some contend, exclude infants, children, the feeble-minded, the
    comatose, the dead, or generations yet unborn. Any of these may be for various
    reasons empirically unable to fulfill the full role of right-holder. But…they are
    logically possible subjects of rights to whom the full language of rights can
    significantly, however falsely, be used. It is a misfortune, not a tautology, that
    these persons cannot exercise or enjoy, claim, or waive, their rights or do their
    duty or fulfil their obligations.9

    David Schmidtz defends the appeal to typical characteristics of species, such
    as mice, chimpanzees, and humans, in making decisions on the use of different
    species in experiments. He also considers the argument from marginal cases:

    Of course, some chimpanzees lack the characteristic features in virtue of which
    chimpanzees command respect as a species, just as some humans lack the
    characteristic features in virtue of which humans command respect as a species.
    It is equally obvious that some chimpanzees have cognitive capacities (for
    example) that are superior to the cognitive capacities of some humans. But
    whether every human being is superior to every chimpanzee is beside the point.
    The point is that we can, we do, and we should make decisions on the basis of
    our recognition that mice, chimpanzees, and humans are relevantly different
    types. We can have it both ways after all. Or so a speciesist could argue.10

    There is something deeply troublesome about the line of argument that runs
    through all three of these responses to the argument from marginal cases. A
    particular feature, or set of features is claimed to have so much moral signifi?
    cance that its presence or lack can make the difference to whether a piece of
    behavior is morally justified or morally outrageous. But then it is claimed that
    the presence or lack of the feature in any particular case is not important. The
    relevant question is whether the presence or lack of the feature is normal. Such
    an argument would seem perfectly preposterous in most other cases. Suppose,
    for example, that ten famous people are on trial in the afterlife for crimes against
    humanity. On the basis of conclusive evidence, five are found guilty and five are
    found not guilty. Four of the guilty are sentenced to an eternity of torment, and
    one is granted an eternity of bliss. Four of the innocent are granted an eternity
    of bliss, and one is sentenced to an eternity of torment. The one innocent who is
    sentenced to torment asks why he, and not the fifth guilty person, must go to
    hell. Saint Peter replies, “Isn’t it obvious Mr. Ghandi? You are male. The other
    four men?Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George W. Bush, and Richard
    Nixon?are all guilty. Therefore the normal condition for a male defendant
    in this trial is guilt. The fact that you happen to be innocent is irrelevant.

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 241

    Likewise, of the five female defendants in this trial, only one was guilty.
    Therefore the normal condition for female defendants in this trial is innocence.

    That is why Margaret Thatcher gets to go to heaven instead of you.”
    As I said, such an argument is preposterous. Is the reply to the argument

    from marginal cases any better? Perhaps it will be claimed that a biological
    category such as a species is more ‘natural’, whatever that means, than a
    category like ‘all the male (or female) defendants in this trial’. Even setting
    aside the not inconsiderable worries about the conventionality of biological
    categories, it is not at all clear why this distinction should be morally relevant.
    What if it turned out that there were statistically relevant differences in the
    mental abilities of men and women? Suppose that men were, on average, more
    skilled at manipulating numbers than women, and that women were, on aver?
    age, more empathetic than men. Would such differences in what was ‘normal’
    for men and women justify us in preferring an innumerate man to a female
    math genius for a job as an accountant, or an insensitive woman to an ultra-
    sympathetic man for a job as a counselor? I take it that the biological distinc?
    tion between male and female is just as real as that between human and

    A second response to the argument from marginal cases is to concede that
    cognitively deficient humans really do have an inferior moral status to normal
    humans. Can we, then, use such humans as we do animals? I know of no-one
    who takes the further step of advocating the use of marginal humans for food
    (though R.G. Frey has made some suggestive remarks concerning experi-
    mentation). How can we advocate this second response while blocking the
    further step? Warren suggests that “there are powerful practical and emotional
    reasons for protecting non-rational human beings, reasons which are absent in
    the case of most non-human animals.”11 It would clearly outrage common
    human sensibilities, if we were to raise retarded children for food or medical
    experiments.12 Here is Steinbock in a similar vein:

    I doubt that anyone will be able to come up with a concrete and morally
    relevant difference that would justify, say, using a chimpanzee in an experiment
    rather than a human being with less capacity for reasoning, moral responsibil?
    ity, etc. Should we then experiment on the severely retarded? Utilitarian con?
    siderations aside, we feel a special obligation to care for the handicapped
    members of our own species, who cannot survive in this world without such
    care….In addition, when we consider the severely retarded, we think, ‘That
    could be me’. It makes sense to think that one might have been born retarded,
    but not to think that one might have been born a monkey….Here we are getting
    away from such things as ‘morally relevant differences’ and are talking about
    something much more difficult to articulate, namely, the role of feeling and
    sentiment in moral thinking.13

    This line of response clearly won’t satisfy those who think that marginal humans
    really do deserve equal moral consideration with other humans. It is also a very

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    242 / Alastair Norcross

    shaky basis on which to justify our current practices. What outrages human
    sensibilities is a very fragile thing. Human history is littered with examples of
    widespread acceptance of the systematic mistreatment of some groups who
    didn’t generate any sympathetic response from others. That we do feel a kind
    of sympathy for retarded humans that we don’t feel for dogs is, if true, a
    contingent matter. To see just how shaky a basis this is for protecting retarded
    humans, imagine that a new kind of birth defect (perhaps associated with beef
    from cows treated with bovine growth hormone) produces severe mental retar-
    dation, green skin, and a complete lack of emotional bond between parents and
    child. Furthermore, suppose that the mental retardation is of the same kind and
    severity as that caused by other birth defects that don’t have the other two
    effects. It seems likely that denying moral status to such defective humans would
    not run the same risks of outraging human sensibilities as would the denial of
    moral status to other, less easily distinguished and more loved defective humans.
    Would these contingent empirical differences between our reactions to different
    sources of mental retardation justify us in ascribing different direct moral status
    to their subjects? The only difference between them is skin color and whether
    they are loved by others. Any theory that could ascribe moral relevance to
    differences such as these doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.14

    Finally, perhaps we could claim that the practice of giving greater weight to
    the interests of all humans than of animals is justified on evolutionary grounds.
    Perhaps such differential concern has survival value for the species. Something
    like this may well be true, but it is hard to see the moral relevance. We can
    hardly justify the privileging of human interests over animal interests on the
    grounds that such privileging serves human interests!

    6. Agent and Patient?the Speciesist’s Central Confusion

    Although the argument from marginal cases certainly poses a formidable
    challenge to any proposed criterion of full moral standing that excludes animals,
    it doesn’t, in my view, constitute the most serious flaw in such attempts to justify
    the status quo. The proposed criteria are all variations on the Aristotelian
    criterion of rationality. But what is the moral relevance of rationality? Why
    should we think that the possession of a certain level or kind of rationality
    renders the possessor’s interests of greater moral significance than those of a
    merely sentient being? In Bentham’s famous words “The question is not, Can
    they reason? nor Can they talk? But, Can they suffer?”.15

    What do defenders of the alleged superiority of human interests say in
    response to Bentham’s challenge? Some, such as Carl Cohen, simply reiterate
    the differences between humans and animals that they claim to carry moral
    significance. Animals are not members of moral communities, they don’t engage
    in moral reflection, they can’t be moved by moral reasons. therefore (?) their
    interests don’t count as much as ours. Others. such as Steinbock and Warren.

    attempt to go further. Here is Warren on the subject:

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 243

    Why is rationality morally relevant? It does not make us “better” than other
    animals or more “perfect”….But it is morally relevant insofar as it provides
    greater possibilities for cooperation and for the nonviolent resolution of prob?

    Warren is certainly correct in claiming that a certain level and kind of
    rationality is morally relevant. Where she, and others who give similar argu?
    ments, go wrong is in specifying what the moral relevance amounts to. If a being
    is incapable of moral reasoning, at even the most basic level, if it is incapable of
    being moved by moral reasons, claims, or arguments, then it cannot be a moral
    agent. It cannot be subject to moral obligations, to moral praise or blame.
    Punishing a dog for doing something “wrong” is no more than an attempt to
    alter its future behavior. So long as we are undeceived about the dog’s cognitive
    capacities, we are not, except metaphorically, expressing any moral judgment
    about the dog’s behavior. (We may, of course, be expressing a moral judgment
    about the behavior of the dog’s owner, who didn’t train it very well.) All this is
    well and good, but what is the significance for the question of what weight to
    give to animal interests? That animals can’t be moral agents doesn’t seem to be
    relevant to their status as moral patients. Many, perhaps most, humans are both
    moral agents and patients. Most, perhaps all, animals are only moral patients.
    Why would the lack of moral agency give them diminished status as moral
    patients? Full status as a moral patient is not some kind of reward for moral
    agency. I have heard students complain in this regard that it is unfair that
    humans bear the burdens of moral responsibility, and don’t get enhanced
    consideration of their interests in return. This is a very strange claim. Humans
    are subject to moral obligations, because they are the kind of creatures who can
    be. What grounds moral agency is simply different from what grounds moral
    standing as a patient. It is no more unfair that humans and not animals are
    moral agents, than it is unfair that real animals and not stuffed toys are moral

    One other attempt to justify the selection of rationality as the criterion of
    full moral standing is worth considering. Recall the suggestion that rationality is
    important insofar as it facilitates cooperation. If we view the essence of morality
    as reciprocity, the significance of rationality is obvious. A certain twisted, but
    all-too-common, interpretation of the Golden Rule is that we should ‘do unto
    others in order to get them to do unto us’. There’s no point, according to this
    approach, in giving much, if any, consideration to the interests of animals,
    because they are simply incapable of giving like consideration to our interests.
    In discussing the morality of eating meat, I have, many times, heard students
    claim that we are justified in eating meat, because “the animals would eat us, if
    given half a chance”. (That they say this in regard to our practice of eating cows
    and chickens is depressing testimony to their knowledge of the animals they
    gobble up with such gusto.) Inasmuch as there is a consistent view being
    expressed here at all, it concerns self-interest, as opposed to morality. Whether

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    244 / Alastair Norcross

    it serves my interests to give the same weight to the interests of animals as to
    those of humans is an interesting question, but it is not the same question as
    whether it is right to give animals’ interests equal weight. The same point, of
    course, applies to the question of whether to give equal weight to my interests,
    or those of my family, race, sex, religion, etc. as to those of other people.

    Perhaps it will be objected that I am being unfair to the suggestion that the
    essence of morality is reciprocity. Reciprocity is important, not because it serves
    my interests, but because it serves the interests of all. Reciprocity facilitates
    cooperation, which in turn produces benefits for all. What we should say about
    this depends on the scope of ‘all’. If it includes all sentient beings, then the
    significance of animals’ inability to reciprocate is in what it tells us about how to
    give their interests equal consideration. It certainly can’t tell us that we should
    give less, or no, consideration to their interests. If, on the other hand, we claim
    that rationality is important for reciprocity, which is important for cooperation,
    which is important for benefiting humans, which is the ultimate goal of moral?
    ity, we have clearly begged the question against giving equal consideration to the
    interests of animals.

    It seems that any attempt to justify the claim that humans have a higher
    moral status than other animals by appealing to some version of rationality as
    the morally relevant difference between humans and animals will fail on at least
    two counts. It will fail to give an adequate answer to the argument from
    marginal cases, and, more importantly, it will fail to make the case that such a
    difference is morally relevant to the status of animals as moral patients as
    opposed to their status as moral agents.

    I conclude that our intuitions that Fred’s behavior is morally impermissible
    are accurate. Furthermore, given that the behavior of those who knowingly
    support factory farming is morally indistinguishable, it follows that their behav?
    ior is also morally impermissible.17


    1. For information on factory farms, see, for example, Jim Mason and Peter
    Singer, Animal Factories, 2d ed. (New York: Harmony Books, 1990), Karen
    Davis, Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry
    Industry (Summertown, TN: Book Publishing Co., 1996), John Robbins, Diet
    for a New America (Walpole, NH: Stillpoint, 1987).

    2. Livestock Slaughter 1998 Summary, NASS, USDA (Washington, D.C.: March
    1999), 2; and Poultry Slaughter, NASS, USDA (Washington, D.C.: February 2,
    1999), lf.

    3. For a fine critique of the Doctrine of Double Effect, see Jonathan Bennett, The
    Act Itself, (Oxford 1995), ch. 11.

    4. If someone were to assert that ‘puppyishness’ or simply ‘being a puppy’ were
    ethically relevant, I could do no more than favor them with an incredulous stare.

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    Puppies, Pigs, and People / 245

    5. Bonnie Steinbock, “Speciesism and the Idea of Equality”, Philosophy 53, no. 204
    (April 1978). Reprinted in Contemporary Moral Problems, 5th edition, James E.
    White (ed.) (West, 1997) 467-468.

    6. Mary Anne Warren, “Difficulties with the Strong Animal Rights Position”,
    Between the Species 2, no. 4, 1987. Reprinted in Contemporary Moral Problems,
    5th edition, James E. White (ed.) (West. 1997), 482.

    7. Carl Cohen, “The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research”, The
    New England Journal of Medecine, vol. 315, 1986. Reprinted in Social Ethics, 4th
    edition, Thomas A. Mappes and Jane S. Zembaty, (eds.) (New York: McGraw-
    Hill, 1992) 463.

    8. Cohen, Op. cit. 461.
    9. Alan White, Rights, (OUP 1984). Reprinted in Animal Rights and Human

    Obligations, 2nd edition, Tom Regan and Peter Singer (eds.) (Prentice Hall,
    1989), 120.

    10. David Schmidtz, “Are all Species Equal?”, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 15,
    no. 1 (1998), 61, my emphasis.

    11. Warren, op. cit. 483.
    12. For a similar argument, see Peter Carruthers, The Animals Issue: Moral Theory

    in Practice. (Cambridge University Press, 1992.)
    13. Steinbock, op. cit. 469^70.
    14. Certain crude versions of the so-called ethics of care do seem to entail that the

    mere fact of being loved gives a different ethical status.
    15. Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,

    (Various) chapter 17.
    16. Warren, op. cit. 482.
    17. This paper, in various forms, has been presented in more places than I can

    remember, and has benefited from the comments of more people than I can
    shake a stick at. I particularly wish to thank, for their helpful comments, Doug
    Ehring, Mylan Engel, Mark Heller, and Steve Sverdlik.

    This content downloaded from on Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:47:23 UTC
    All use subject to

    • Contents
    • p. [229]

      p. 230

      p. 231

      p. 232

      p. 233

      p. 234

      p. 235

      p. 236

      p. 237

      p. 238

      p. 239

      p. 240

      p. 241

      p. 242

      p. 243

      p. 244

      p. 245

    • Issue Table of Contents
    • Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 18 (2004) pp. i-vi+1-426

      Front Matter [pp. i-vi]

      ‘All Things Considered’ [pp. 1-22]

      Meta-Ethics and the Problem of Creeping
      Minimalism [pp. 23-44]

      Prankster’s Ethics [pp. 45-52]

      The Wrongdoing That Gets Results [pp. 53-88]

      Can We Harm and Benefit in Creating? [pp. 89-113]

      The Force and Fairness of Blame [pp. 115-148]

      The Return of Moral Fictionalism [pp. 149-187]

      Silence and Responsibility [pp. 189-208]

      Moral Knowledge by Perception [pp. 209-228]

      Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal
      Cases [pp. 229-245]

      Six Theses about Pleasure [pp. 247-267]

      The Role of Well-Being [pp. 269-294]

      Skepticism about Moral Responsibility [pp. 295-313]

      How to Be Responsible for Something without Causing
      It [pp. 315-336]

      The Scope of Instrumental Reason [pp. 337-364]

      Hume on Practical Reason [pp. 365-389]

      Indeterminacy, Ignorance and the Possibility of
      Parity [pp. 391-403]

      The Metaethicists’ Mistake [pp. 405-426]

      Back Matter

    Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

    Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

    Calculate the price of your order

    You will get a personal manager and a discount.
    We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
    Total price: