This paper aims to examine exceptionalisms in ethics in general and in the fields of animal and technology ethics in particular.
This paper reviews five sample works in animal/technology ethics it considers representative for particularly popular forms of “exceptionalism”.
The shared feature of the exceptionalisms exhibited by the chosen samples appears to be born out of the cultural and biological history, which provides powerful intuitions regarding the on “specialness”.
As this paper is mostly a critique of existing approaches, it contains only a limited amount of counter-proposed alternative approaches.
This is a discussion worth having because arguments based on (human or biological) exceptionalism have more chance of resulting in significantly altered theoretical conclusions and practical suggestions for normative guidance than non-exceptionalist perspectives.
The approaches critiqued in this paper have a significant effect on the way the authors approach animals, machines/technologies and each other.
The paper identifies intuitive notions of exceptionalism and argues in favour of a reformist, ethical expansionist stance, which views humanity as residing (and other biological organisms) on the same plane of ethical significance as any other entity regardless of its material composition.
Klein, W.E.J. (2019), "Exceptionalisms in the ethics of humans, animals and machines", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 183-195. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-11-2018-0089Download as .RIS
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