Animal Welfare: A Critical Examination of the Concept
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The past half-century has witnessed a dramatic increase in both philosophical and social concern about animals. Much of this concern is about animals’ moral standing and the ethical permissibility of various animal-harming practices. However, a parallel track of concern relates to animal mind and animal well-being. Some of the motivation for concern about animal mind and animal well-being can be traced to scientific curiosity; however, the investigation of what animals are like, and what makes an animal’s life go well or poorly, is an important part of moral philosophy. Normative judgments about what humans owe animals usually presuppose some account of what is beneficial or harmful to them, and philosophical work in normative ethics therefore must proceed apace with conceptual and empirical work regarding animal welfare. In addition, an important historical and sociological aspect...
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