Midterm outlines/links

1.  Anthropomorphism and anthropodenial are defined on p. 24 of De Waal and in his glossary.  We discussed on Jan. 26.

2. Material was discussed on Jan. 26 and in De Waal. On the scala naturae picture, beetles are on a very low rung of the ladder of nature, so likely to have no consciousness or very little.  On the approach that considers evidence about common ancestors, it's important that our most recent common ancestor lived lived a very long time ago, making it unlikely (but not impossible) that the beetle is conscious.

3. The relevant material was discussed on Feb. 2 and is in the powerpoint (slide 5) and the DVD The Animal Mind. Graham (in the DVD) has the condition that's known as "blindsight": due to a brain abnormality, he doesn't think he sees what's on one side of his visual field, but he does know what's there.  So he sees, in a sense, but doesn't consciously see.  The relevance to animals is that they too might see, but not consciously see.

4.  The material was discussed on Feb. 2 and in the powerpoint for that day, as well as in De Waal. (a) You could discuss either the fact that De Waal thinks there are many forms of self-awareness besides the sort the mirror test relates to.  Or you could discuss the fact that De Waal considers the mirror test inappropriate for some species.  (b) You should discuss specific species that pass the mirror test.

5.  Material was discussed on Feb. 7 and in De Waal.  Many examples of scientific evidence of forward time travel are discussed in the post and in De Waal.

6. Material was discussed on Feb. 14 (see powerpoint, slide 4) and in Grandin & Deesing.  Needed 3 examples of behavioral changes.  For example, pain guarding, appetite change, ingesting pain-killers.

7. Material was discussed on Feb. 9, especially in the De Waal TED talk (see powerpoint slide 3). It was also covered in De Waal. Example: the monkeys who become enraged if they get a smaller food reward for the same work as another monkey.

8. Material was discussed on Feb. 16 (see powerpoint slides 4-7) and is also in the Aristotle reading. One view is that it's both natural and better for both if animals serve as slaves of human beings--pulling plows, etc.  The other views is that nature does nothing in vain, so presumably made animals in order for humans to use them as resources.

9.  Material was discussed on Feb. 16  (see powerpoint slides 14-19) and is also in the Kant reading.  He says we have no moral obligations to animals.  Our apparent duties to animals are actually indirect duties to other human beings, i.e. duties to other human beings that involve animals.  Lost one point if you talked about indirect duties to animals.  The duty is not to animals, it's to other human beings.

10. I said there would be a question based on the readings, but not otherwise covered. This is one. Regan backs this up by saying that contractarianism fails to assign rights to human babies and cognitively impaired elderly people. He says that  on contractarianism, there are indirect duties to normal people involving babies (etc.), but no duties to babies (etc.)

11.  Material was discussed on Feb. 21 (see powerpoint slides 5-6).  See also the Singer reading (p. 41-42). He says it would not speciesist, because the many special abilities of the human being (intelligence, language, awareness of the future, etc.), give him or her a life with more value.

12.  Material was discussed on Feb. 28 (see powerpoint slide 7) and Carruthers reading (pp. 61-65). Need to explain this using his social contract framework. He says people "around the table" would insist on rights for babies (etc.) and the contract would be unstable if they weren't given rights.  The contractors would rebel.  They wouldn't likewise insist on rights for animals, since their attachments to animals are much weaker.

13. Material was discussed on March 2 (see blog post and annotated reading.  Needed to accurately state one of the many problems listed in the post and in the annotated reading.

14. Material was discussed on March 2 and in Donaldson & Kymlicka reading. They put them in the category of animal citizens. Needed to discuss ramifications specifically related to being citizens.

15.  You needed to cover what 4 philosophers have said about the link between moral status and assumptions about animal minds. This was discussed on Jan. 24.  The chart was particularly relevant.  Also relevant is the powerpoint for Feb. 16.  Depending on which philosophers you discussed, you would then discuss the scientific research on four different capacities. For example, if you discussed Kant and self-awareness, then you would discuss the scientific research on whether animals are self-aware, as covered by De Waal and in this post.   To make grading this easier, I sometime gave you scores for P1 (philosopher 1), R1 (scientific research relevant to P1), P2 (philosopher 2), R2 (scientific research relevant to philosopher 2), etc.

16.  You had to explain the author's position and arguments pretty thoroughly, then make objections. A common problem was just giving an alternative view on the topic instead of identifying flaws in the author's argument.  For example, if you're making objections to Carruthers, it won't do to just assert what Singer or Regan thinks. That's not really an objection, it's just an alternative position.

No comments:

Post a Comment