[The metaphysical dimension of animal ethics] [Article in German]

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Norbert Walz


Utilitarian ethics recognises animals as moral objects, but it does not attribute an absolute value to human or non-human individuals. Animal ethics according to Regan defines the non-human individual as an inherent value, but concedes that humans should be given precedence over animals if a situation involves a decision between life and death. Such life and death decisions relate to the fundamental structures of biological nature. To individuals these fundamental structures (the paradox of life and death) will necessarily appear absurd. The metaphysical dimension of animal ethics tries to shed light on the connections between life and death, body and mind that underly ethical discussions and searches for alternatives to the natural organisation of life.

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Walz, N. (2008) “[The metaphysical dimension of animal ethics] [Article in German]”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 25(4), pp. 321–325. doi: 10.14573/altex.2008.4.321.

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