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The Case for Animal Rights

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  356 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
More than twenty years after its original publication, The Case for Animal Rights is an acknowledged classic of moral philosophy, and its author is recognized as the intellectual leader of the animal rights movement. In a new and fully considered preface, Regan responds to his critics and defends the book's revolutionary position.
Hardcover, 425 pages
Published October 1st 1983 by University of California Press
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I know this book is supposed to be a classic, but I found it rather a chore to deal with. It's a big book, and it has a number of good features, but since everyone seems to be talking about those I will just list a couple of complaints.

My main dislike was the pondering way in which it handled certain topics, such as animal's mental life, which managed somehow to cover the terrain exhaustively while simultaneously misreading and therefore failing to engage with the alternative views we spend so
Rory Armstrong
May 11, 2014 Rory Armstrong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good, but heavy read. The book covers the philosophical aspects of the animal rights movement, taking into consideration the awareness of animals, the complexity of animal awareness, animal welfare, ethical though and theory concerning animals, a breakdown of the various ethical views along with critisms, Regan's outline of the rights view, and finishing with the implications of his view.
The parts I really liked where Regan explained the various ethical theories and ideas. This was useful
Oct 01, 2007 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Humans
This book is the logical and moral conclusion to The Origin of Species. It is an excellent primer to moral philosophy in general, so that it is naturally an excellent primer to fun questions like, "What is consciousness?" Even if you have no interest in animal rights issues, most philosophy schools are finding AR to be an elegant lens through which to introduce these concepts.

The Case for Animal Rights finds a place in the world for this species of ours full of humility, dignity, and honor. Were
Earl Biringer
Jun 23, 2013 Earl Biringer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
There is only one rational basis for thinking about ethics, and that is the reality of suffering. Regan does not realize that it is irrelevant whether his rights-based theory is internally coherent and sounds pretty - it has no basis in empirical reality. To refute him, all one has to say is "No, that's not true." An explanation of why it is not true isn't required - he gives no reasons for believing it is true.

Nonsense on stilts indeed! (and this is coming from a committed vegan!).
Heather Browning
Regan makes a solid case for the moral consideration of animals, though I find the discourse of 'rights' unnecessary. The book is long but thorough, covering many issues to do with ethics, moral principles and our treatment of animals, as well as engaging with some counter-arguments. Not always easy going, but a central text in the field.
Lisa Vegan
May 12, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who care about animals, those interested in philosphy
Cogent and convincing (to me) arguments for the rights of animals and humans from a philosophy professor who believes in animal rights. I read an earlier edition after I heard him speak at a conference.
Sep 16, 2008 Nicholas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is deep, had to spend a lot of time re-reading portions. Helped me confirm my decision to not eat meat
Sep 02, 2011 Antiloquax rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rights
Incredibly well-argued. Don't think anyone could read this and continue to eat meat.
Dery Andarias
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2008 Tad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: moral philosophers, animal rights activists, animal lovers, vegans and vegetarians
this book presents the most comprehensive and complete argument for the concept of animal rights to date. it is a large book (nearly 500 pages) which encompasses many topics in philosophy and applied ethics. the first quarter of the book is dedicated to establishing the mental lives of animals and refuting traditional and contemporary arguments against this hypothesis. he offers easy to follow common sense arguments mixed with arguments borrowed from evolutionary biology to help him in this task ...more
Oct 18, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-ref  ·  review of another edition
...en la actualidad el debate sigue en buena medida los cauces abiertos por el Iluminismo en el siglo XVIII y, por tanto y en forma paralela al utilitarismo, no podía dejar de recorrerse el sendero idealista de la otra vertiente iluminista, o sea el de Kant, con las debidas correcciones. Esa es la tarea que llevó a cabo Tom Regan, entre otros libros en The Case for Animal Rights de 1983.

La corrección de Regan a Kant pega en el corazón mismo de la tesis de éste: afirma que todo viviente debe ser
Ike Sharpless
The deontological yin to Singer's utilitarian yang. I'm much more in the latter camp, so I'm unconvinced by his argument concerning inherent worth and subjects-of-a-life. Then again, I don't think it's useful to talk about inherent or intrinsic value even for humans, so I'm probably in the minority. I'm all for human rights, mind you, but I approach them primarily from a rule utilitarian perspective.
Oct 05, 2014 Dayna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I read it along with Peter Singers Book "Practical Ethics" a few years ago.
I began homeschooling my two daughters this year and I am using Peter Singers' "Practical Ethics" as a class in Debate/Ethics for a class for them. We've had some AMAZING discussions so far and it's been wonderful learning from them and teaching them - NOT what to think, but how to think!

I only wish I had kept this book several years ago!
Jul 28, 2008 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comprehensively worked out theory of animal rights. Contrasts with Peter Singer's utilitiarian approach by defending the notion that animals have inherent rights to be accorded respect. The underlying moral theory is, ultimately, not completely persuasive (what moral theory is?), but it's an exhaustive look at the issues, and written clearly enough that a determined non-specialist could benefit from it.
Jan 04, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vegan
I guess I have read enough AR literature for a lifetime, or at least for the time being.
Though I'm well used to reading theoretical philosophic literature, I couldn't manage to finish this one. I assume this is a very good book and I appreciate the critic of Peter Singer, but it takes far too long to finally arrive at the main topic, which is animal rights.

Sep 24, 2007 Kei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this book five stars, but it is pretty heavy reading although the author tried to make it non-philosopher friendly. Still it's a great book and definitely worth reading (although it may take you a little while! :))
Jul 27, 2008 Tully rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
sound Kantian arguments, coupled to a rich description of the higher mammals as "subjects to life". Very well-organized and lucid; perfect for undergraduate ethics debates
Arturo Javier
Jan 10, 2011 Arturo Javier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Una alternativa al utilitarismo que por fin toma en cuenta a los animales, pero hay partes del libro que pueden resultar muy complicadas para el lector casual.
Sep 12, 2009 Nick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't make it through this book. To be specific, couldn't even finish the updated introduction. Skimmed the rest. Don't agree with any of the concepts in the book.
Remi Watts
The book teetered too awkwardly on the fence between being an introductory work, and being serious and academic.
Nayla rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2012
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Marie Thimsen-gaitan
Marie Thimsen-gaitan rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2013
Sep 15, 2009 Sps rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language, 100s
Matheus Souza
Matheus Souza rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2014
Lucas Emanuel
Lucas Emanuel rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2015
Elias Hämäläinen
Elias Hämäläinen rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2014
Brady Olsen
Brady Olsen rated it really liked it
May 30, 2014
Andres Ruiz
Andres Ruiz rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2011
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Tom Regan is an American philosopher who specializes in animal rights theory. He is professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, where he taught from 1967 until his retirement in 2001.

Regan is the author of numerous books on the philosophy of animal rights, including The Case for Animal Rights (1983), one of a handful of studies that have significantly influenced the modern
More about Tom Regan...

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“To be 'for animals' is not to be 'against humanity.' To require others to treat animals justly, as their rights require, is not to ask for anything more nor less in their case than in the case of any human to whom just treatment is due. The animal rights movement is a part of, not opposed to, the human rights movement. Attempts to dismiss it as anti human are mere rhetoric.” 48 likes
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