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The Philosophy of Vegetarianism by Daniel A. Dombrowski

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By Daniel A. Dombrowski

The concept that it truly is morally mistaken to consume animals held sway for approximately 1000 years between essentially the most well-liked historical Greek philosophers, together with Pythagoras, Empedocles, Theophrastus, Plotinus, Plutarch, Porphyry, and, possibly, Plato. the belief then died out for nearly seventeen-hundred years. because the Seventies, although, there was a resurgence of curiosity in vegetarianism, marked by way of energetic debates and the emergence of a considerable literature within the kind of scholarly books and articles.

Daniel A. Dombrowski makes use of the instruments and insights of those modern debates to be able to larger comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of historical philosophical vegetarianism. He additionally makes use of the knowledge of the Greek vegetarians as an Archimedean aspect from which to critique either the rivals and the defenders of up to date philosophical vegetarianism. The ebook contains an annotated bibliography of the present debates during this burgeoning box of scholarship.

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To reply with "nature'' or "instinct'' is to beg the question, inasmuch as human beings are also natural beings with instincts; indeed, they are animals themselves. 14 (3) It is not at all clear that animals completely lack rationality, as we shall see later. In any event, St. Thomas does not show that they lack rationality. (4) Even if human beings do approach nearest to the divine likeness, it does not follow that all beings "beneath" man are for his sake. (5) There is quite a gap between suggesting that a being that lacks freedom and rationalityassuming for the moment that animals lack theseis therefore a slave or a mere instrument.

But it is not at all clear that linguistic ability is the sort of evidence that allows us to infer pain in a human being, especially in babies. 28 Once again, why such stringent criteria in the case of animals? The situation changes somewhat in Descartes's letters. 29 This surely will not do because even if what Descartes says is true, it does not follow that animals are completely devoid of reason. 30 He also admits that it seems likely that animals experience sensation like us. 31 Cottingham contends that Descartes does not hold the monstrous view of animals that some would suggest, inasmuch as Descartes does, at points, concede that animals have sensation.

Page 21 The fifth race, the age of iron, continues on the temporarily interrupted path of degeneration. Toil, anxiety, sorrow, war, and hybris characterize this age. This is apparently the worst of races, and the one Hesiod identifies with, leading to his desire to have been born before or after this age in the belief that the golden age will perhaps return. No doubt one expression of man's hybris in this age was his attitude toward animals. Although the first explicit reference to the myth of the ages was made by Hesiod in the eighth century, it seems that Homer implies such a schema in indirect ways.

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