The Ethics Forum solicits contributions on the topics of animal ethics and animal justice.
Deadline for submission of abstracts: March 15, 2014
Animal ethics is the branch of moral philsophy devoted to the study of the moral responsibilities of humans towards other animals, understood as individuals. The question of the inclusion of some non-human animals in the moral community, and perhaps even in the legal one, gives rise to reflection on the criteria of moral value for an entity, as well as reflection on how the different normative theories require moral agents to behave towards animals –assuming that some of them can properly be considered as moral patients. Should we determine our obligations to other animals from the perspective of utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics or the ethics of care? What are these obligations? Are they limited to the minimization of animal suffering? Or, do they call into question any use of a sentient being for human purposes? Although a vast number of serious books and articles have been published in the last forty years, some questions have not yet found satisfying answers, and consensus still evades us. What value should we place on the interest in staying alive and on the lives of non-human animals? How should we understand their interest in liberty: is it intrinsic or merely instrumental? Do animal interests, if indeed there are any, need to be protected in the same way as similar interests in human beings? Does any use of non-human animal for human ends constitute a form of exploitation? Is the analogy between non-human sentient animals and human marginalized cases legitimate? What about the other parallels often suggested between certain uses of animals and certain types of human exploitation? How should we respond to the objections from predation in the animal kingdom and from the harm caused unintentionally to animals in the grain fields? Do we have an individual responsibility to adopt veganism?
Starting these many traditional issues concerning animal ethics, normative animal philosophy is increasingly moving towards the political field to focus more on the duties of justice that concern animals From this point of view, we can first ask what makes an entity worthy of justice? Is it the participation in the cooperative system of a society? Rational autonomy? Vulnerability and a capacity to be affected by the social institutional structure? Or something else? Is contractualism necessarily limited to the inclusion of human subjects or can we question and eventually renew « classical » contractarian approaches in order to make them more hospitable to animal rights theory? Can nonhuman animals be included among the recipients of distributive justice? Should they have access to the minimum conditions of well-being, advantages, resources, primary social goods or flourishing through the exercise of certain capabilities? What duties and responsibilities do we collectively have towards them? Do we have only negative obligations (respect for basic rights and liberties) or do we have positive obligations that emanate from various forms of relationships animals have with human societies and their institutions? One can also ask what are our specific political obligations to nonhuman animals? Should they be considered full members of « mixed communities »: sharing the same citizenship project? What of wild animals whom, although not living among us, are greatly affected by various human endeavors, including the deterioration of the ecosystems on which they depend? Must they be also taken into account in the development of a « global justice « ?
This special edition of the journal will focus on contemporary debates in normative animal philosophy. Submissions should analyze problems linked primarily to the aforementioned moral and political issues, but submissions examining the legal and socio-economic aspects of social practices involving non-human animals will also be considered. Of course, these topics are suggestions. Submitters are invited to select a theme that is adjacent to these central questions.
Les Ateliers de l’éthique/ The Ethics Forum is the bilingual journal (French and English) of the Centre for Research in Ethics of the University of Montreal (CREUM), and now publishes three issues per year entirely accessible on the web. The journal publishes academic articles pertaining to all the domains of ethics, with particular attention to the normative challenges of public policies and social practices.
For more information, visit our new website.
Submission of abstract (500 words max): March 15th, 2014. Decisions will be made within a month.
Upon notification of acceptance, you will be invited to submit the full paper no later than June 15th, 2014.
– Texts from 6000 to 12000 words, single spaced.
– Font must be Times New Roman, 12 point.
– Notes should be placed at the end of the text and not at bottom of page.
– Include an abstract of 200 words max. in English and French.
Detailed instructions to authors are available on the journal website.