ADVANTAGES

Alice Crary argues that shifting perceptions of our moral landscapesoccur because these landscapes, and more precisely the rich worlds ofthose who inhabit them, are not morally neutral. The characteristicsthat philosophers tend to look for in other animals to determinewhether or not they are morally considerable, according to Crary, arealready infused with moral importance, “human beings and otheranimals have empirically discoverable moral characteristics” (myemphasis, 2016: 85) that are, as she puts it “insideethics”. These values often sneak in under a supposedly neutralgloss. By explicitly locating these characteristics inside ethics, thetexture, quality, and purposes of our ethical reflection on moralconsiderability changes. Arriving at an adequate empiricalunderstanding requires non-neutral methods, identifying historical andcultural perspectives as shaping how we consider other animalsmorally. What ethical questions we think are important and how weframe and answer them, will be different if we see our lives and thelives of other animals as already imbued with moral values.

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