48th out of 51 books — 8 voters
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Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions
Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum bring together an all-star cast of contributors to explore the legal and political issues that underlie the campaign for animal rights and the opposition to it. Addressing ethical questions about ownership, protection against unjustified suffering, and the ability of animals to make their own choices free from human control, the authors of ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published November 24th 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published March 31st 2004)
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Susstein and Nussbaum's collection of animal rights essays is a good primer on the different legal and philosophical positions that are maintained in the animal rights debate. The quality of the essays, however, was not consistent. As might be expected when covering both sides of an issue, the quality tended to predominate towards one side. In this case it was the people advocating for animal rights, or greater rights and protections for animals than currently persists, who pretty much monopoliz ...more
I read this book very recently and found it to be among the best anthologies on any topic I have ever read. Big name academics like Cass Sunstein, Martha Nussbaum, Catherine MacKinnon, Peter Singer, and Gary Francione, among others, weigh in on all sides of this fascinating issue. Elizabeth Anderson, a thinker I was previously unaware of prior to reading this book, has the best piece in the volume - one that deals with the ways in which animals inspire various types of respect from human beings ...more
A set of essays about the debates around awarding legal rights to animals, including how this might be done and why it is important. Much of it felt like re-treading well-worn ground (though that might just be my perspective as someone quite familiar with work in this area) and some of the essays didn't seem to add much, but I think this would be an interesting introduction to someone wanting to learn about the key issues in the area.
Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where he continues to teach as ...moreMore about Cass R. Sunstein...
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“If we understand “rights” to be legal protection against harm, then many animals already do have rights, and the idea of animal rights is not terribly controversial.”
“Those who emphasize animal rights have a more complicated task. They tend to urge that animals should be given rights to the extent that their capacities are akin to those of human beings. The usual emphasis here is on cognitive capacities. The line would be drawn between animals with advanced capacities, such as chimpanzees and dolphins, and those that lack such capacities. Undoubtedly a great deal of work needs to be done on this topic. But at least an emphasis on the capacity to think, and to form plans, seems to provide a foundation for appropriate line drawing by those who believe in animal rights in a strong sense.”More quotes…