The annual public Uehiro Lecture Series captures the ethos of the Uehiro Centre, which is to bring the best scholarship in analytic philosophy to bear on the most significant problems of our time, and to make progress in the analysis and resolution of these issues to the highest academic standard, in a manner that is also accessible to the general public. Philosophy should not only create knowledge, it should make people’s lives better.
In keeping with this, the Annual Uehiro Lectures are published as a book series by Oxford University Press and we are pleased to announce the recent publication of the latest in the series by 2016 Uehiro Lecturer, Professor Shelly Kagan, 'How to Count Animals, more or less' (published April 2019).
Most people agree that animals count morally, but how exactly should we take animals into account? A prominent stance in contemporary ethical discussions is that animals have the same moral status that people do, and so in moral deliberation the similar interests of animals and people should be given the very same consideration. In How to Count Animals, more or less, Shelly Kagan sets out and defends a hierarchical approach in which people count more than animals do and some animals count more than others. For the most part, moral theories have not been developed in such a way as to take account of differences in status. By arguing for a hierarchical account of morality - and exploring what status sensitive principles might look like - Kagan reveals just how much work needs to be done to arrive at an adequate view of our duties toward animals, and of morality more generally.