The Moral Status Of Animals Nussbaum Summary

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In the essay “The Moral Status of Animals”, published in 2006, Martha C. Nussbaum reflects the aspect of dignity and comments on the dignified existence of both human and nonhuman beings. Throughout her essay, Nussbaum draws parallels between classical doctrines and the treatment of nonhuman beings among other things on the example of a trial in India, which examined the “undignified” treatment and living conditions of circus animals. Although scientists still puzzle over the extent of a nonhuman beings ' morality, Nussbaum argues in her essay that animals should be entitled to a dignified existence as well as humans, because every living being has specific forms of “flourishing” and deserves to unfold its opportunities in life. Under consideration of Kantian’s, Rachels’s and Bentham’s theories, which differentiate in several points, Nussbaum examines the animals’ moral capabilities. She disagrees with Kant’s statement about the…show more content…
While comparing the circumstances of a trisomy 21 child’s life and the life of a chimpanzee, she recognizes how their capacities are minimally similar and emphasizes the importance of either human or a nonhuman cultural environment they are depending on in order to optimally function, or as she says “flourish” (Nussbaum 5).
Nussbaum evaluates in her essay several opinions and theories. She acknowledges morality in nonhuman beings, but she ties it to in order to allow a nonhuman being a dignified existence. Nussbaum defines the term “dignified existence” as a life in politically and culturally absolute environment, that consists of individual communities. Human and nonhuman beings require these environments for the purpose of flourishing, means, lead fulfilled, just and satisfied
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