Philosophy

Philosophy

Now having discussed a wide array of ethical theories and topics I want you to read the following 2015 Philosophy Now article, “When Apes Have Their Day in Court” by Prof. Shawn Thompson. 

Here is the link: https://philosophynow.org/issues/111/When_Apes_Have_Their_Day_In_Court

In other words, we are now discussing whether or not the legal rights we enjoy should be extended to other animals given the impact of environmental concerns, abuse of animals, food ethics, and the continuing debate about what it means to be human.

After reading this article, answer this question:

Should biology – evolution and genetics – be the basis to determine what living entities (e.g., apes) deserve legal rights? We could look at the question a different way: If certain animals are not able to be “autonomous,” (following Kant) because of evolution and genetics, then should those animals be denied the same rights we enjoy as humans? Why or why not? 

To help you ascertain his overall argument, ask these three questions: 

What claims are being made in this article? 

How did they come to these conclusions?

What are their reasons for these claims? 

After summarizing the overall debate using the three types of questions from above, it is now your time to make your argument. But this time you have the freedom to decide how you will want to defend your own claim whether animals should have legal rights the same as humans. Some of these resources you have learned include the sevenfold criterion for making and evaluating truth claims (see chapters 3-4 and 12 from Thinking with Excellence) whereby you give or analyze a truth claim, an argument, position, or belief by looking at the argument using the “seven different lenses” (see pg. 48 of Thinking with Excellence). Another approach you have learned is from chapter 5 of Thinking with Excellence where you were introduced to 5 different ways of critical thinking: analytic, synthetic, practical, existential, and lateral. Now what will also strengthen your work is to note any logical fallacies committed  (chapter 7) by the author. But if you really do observe a logical fallacy, you can’t merely say this author committed one, if you have to demonstrate that it really is one. But you also want to avoid committing them yourself in your own argument.  

Lastly, do not make any arbitrary, prejudicial conjecture, be aware of any precommitments, biases, and preunderstandings, and think about your own cultural, social context, or situational setting that might affect your argument, Authenticity is always one critical aspect of credibility in any argument you give.

Here is a suggested outline:

Introduction (paragraph 1)

What is the Debate (paragraphs 2-3)

What is the justification of your own position (paragraphs 4-6)

Conclusion (paragraph 7)

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