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Why animals have an interest in freedom

Warum Tiere ein Interesse an Freiheit haben
[journal article]

Schmidt, Andreas T.


This full text is available after a period of embargo until the 17 Dec. 2016

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Abstract Do non-human animals have an interest in sociopolitical freedom? Cochrane has recently taken up this important yet largely neglected question. He argues that animal freedom is not a relevant moral concern in itself, because animals have a merely instrumental but not an intrinsic interest in freedom (Cochrane 2009a, 2012). This paper will argue that even if animals have a merely instrumental interest in freedom, animal freedom should nonetheless be an important goal for our relationships with animals. Drawing on recent work on the value of freedom, it will be argued that freedom is non-specifically instrumentally valuable. Accordingly, freedom is a means to other goods, but often it is not possible to identify those goods in advance or aim for them directly. Some of the reasons that make freedom non-specifically valuable for human relationships, it will be argued, also apply to relationships between humans and animals. Amongst other implications, it will be shown how this argument provides a response to those who fear that stricter animal protection policies might undermine people's freedom: A concern for freedom actually requires stricter protection policies rather than speak against them.
Keywords freedom; animal protection; ethics; liberalism; human being; animal; social relations; value
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; Philosophy, Ethics, Religion
Free Keywords animal rights; abolitionism
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 92-109
Journal Historical Social Research, 40 (2015) 4
Issue topic Animal politics: a new research agenda in political theory
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works