Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation by John Simons

By John Simons

This ebook addresses the query of animal rights within the context of literary feedback. operating from a dedicated place it asks what literary stories might appear like if animal rights have been taken heavily. It deals serious surveys of the most subject matters within the heritage of animal rights and a few of the extra very important modern positions including readings of a variety of literary texts from classical antiquity via to the current day.

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He even objects to the characterisation of Animal Liberation as the ‘Bible’ of the animal rights movement: The Animal in Some Contemporary Thought 21 It is a line which I cannot help find flattering, but it makes me uncomfortable at the same time. 7 This bias has an effect that pervades the book. Singer is right to distrust the notion of absolute rights (which is not necessarily implied only by religious positions), but the rigour of his utilitarianism seems to make it difficult to discern why he cares so much about animals (and he plainly does).

These practices are to our advantage, and we intend to continue them. Thus, when we think about what animals are like we are motivated to conceive of them in ways that are compatible with treating them in these ways. If animals are conceived as intelligent, sensitive beings, these ways of treating them might seem monstrous. 6 42 Animal Rights and the Politics of Literary Representation For Primatt and, as we shall see, for other eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century writers, the emotional and physiological life of animals was a matter of sensibly held certainty not abstruse speculation.

41 The Animal in Some Contemporary Thought 33 It is thus necessary to seek to understand animal rights not merely as a function of a more generalised debate on the nature of rights and the ways in which an understanding of this debate might help more generally to liberate mankind. It is also important to see the whole of creation as an interlocking mesh of moral values and individual claims in which no group can claim an absolute moral primacy. In his collection of essays, Animals and their Moral Standing (1997), Clark returns to the themes of his earlier books.

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