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https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2017/entries/moral-animal/


On Dr. Richard Ryder’s use of the term speciesism (which term the moral philosopher Peter Singer later made more popular):

“The view that only humans are morally considered is sometimes referred to as ‘speciesism’. In the 1970s, Richard Ryder coined this term while campaigning in Oxford to denote a ubiquitous type of human centered prejudice, which he thought was similar to racism. He objected to favoring one’s own species, while exploiting or harming members of other species” (Gruen, Lori, “The Moral Status of Animals”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Fall 2017 Edition, Edward N. Zalta, ed.

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Discussion Questions

1. How does the hearing of this U.N. report on the climate crisis affect you, your values, your sense of the world and its future?   What human beliefs or values today will more likely prevent needed changes in our way of life, methods of production, or government policies?  And what beliefs or values will more likely lead to the kind of changes needed to address the climate crisis?

2. Do you think humans are biased against animals, as moral philosophers like Peter Singer express with the term speciesism, and do you think this speciesism is comparable to other human biases such as racism, as Richard Ryder claimed in the 1970s?  Why or why not? 

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