• John HadleyEmail author


In this chapter I explain the main elements of animal neopragmatism and the theoretical motivations for it. Neopragmatism has both a negative case and a positive case supporting it. The negative case is the critique of orthodox animal rights theory in Chapter 6 and the familiar pragmatist arguments against philosophical realism. The positive case is the theory of relational hedonism in Chapter 4 and the expressivist theory of rights-based vocabulary in Chapter 5. The chief virtue of neopragmatism is that it affords a democratic theory of animal welfare by aligning the specialist or policy conceptions of welfare with the folk or layperson conception of welfare, without falling prey to the problems that beleaguer orthodox animal rights theory. When the usage of terms such as dignity and respect is understood in line with an anti-representational theory of language such as expressivism, there is no sense in which the speakers can be accused of shifting debate about animal protection from the familiar welfare paradigm to an unfamiliar rights-based paradigm.


Neopragmatism Animal welfare Animal rights Animal ethics Animal welfare science Realism Expressivism Rationalism Pluralism Epistemology Pragmatism Peirce Rorty 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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