Answer ONE of the following questions in a thoughtful and well-organized essay. Your essay should have a thesis statement and support your claim with a coherent narrative; it should not be a list of responses to the questions of the prompt. Essays should demonstrate familiarity with the course readings and discussions; the use of additional sources is discouraged. Please provide page numbers for quotations from the course texts. Essays must be 1100 words. Format papers in Times New Roman font with 1” margins.
1)What different reasons are there for humans to be kind to non-human animals? Should we treat them as “ends-in-themselves”? Reconstruct Kant’s arguments. How would a critic such as Peter Singer respond to Kant? Do all sentient creatures deserve equal consideration? Provide a critical assessment of these arguments.
2)How is the concept of personhood used by Norton-Smith both similar to and different from that used by Kant? Is being human a sufficient condition for being a person for either thinker? What kinds of requirements for personhood are built into Norton-Smith’s view? How does Norton-Smith’s concept of an “animate being” contrast with Singer’s notion of “sentience”? What sorts of things are included/excluded from the moral community on these views? Provide a critical assessment of the arguments.
3)Singer argues that practices benefiting the dominant group are often justified by descriptions of hierarchical orders as “natural and inevitable.” He suggests instead to measure actions not by how they benefit the already privileged, but by how they impact the most disadvantaged groups. Is there a connection between attitudes of entitlement to the flesh of non-human animals and the domination of men over women in patriarchal society? How does Adams see the construction of masculine identity being based around the male privilege of consuming meat and women’s bodies? Provide a critical assessment of the arguments.