Objections to Animal Neopragmatism

  • John HadleyEmail author


In this chapter, I address two objections to animal neopragmatism: the anything goes objection and the no practical difference objection. The anything goes objection is in response to pragmatism’s signature rejection of philosophical realism and the correspondence theory of truth. The claim is that neopragmatism entails that there are no epistemic standards against which to evaluate rival claims in public deliberation about animal related issues. In response, I point out how a Peircean view of truth and a warranted assertibility theory of justification are compatible with neopragmatism. The no practical difference objection is that because neopragmatism preserves the vocabulary of welfare and rights, debate about animal protection will proceed in familiar terms in the usual ways. In response to this objection I stress that, consistent with its pragmatic inheritance, neopragmatism is an ameliorative theory. To conclude, I discuss the work of institutional animal ethics committees to illustrate the practical implications of neopragmatism. The inclusion of consensus or resonance in the neopragmatic theory of deliberation generates a hypothetical prudential obligation on the part of deliberators to be cognizant of the motivations of their fellow community of inquiry members.


Neopragmatism Truth Knowledge Epistemology Realism Peirce Rorty James Price Animal Ethics Committees 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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