Topics: Morality, Human, Religion Pages: 23 (7705 words) Published: December 3, 2013

Article Analysis Techniques:
Do Animals Have Rights?
[Carl Cohen]

Professor: Jai Chetram
Article Analysis Techniques

Article Analysis Techniques
Step 1: Main Conclusion
Animals cannot be the bearers of rights because the concept of rights is essentially human; it is rooted in and has force within a human moral world (¶1).

Step 2: The Main Concepts
Rights (¶1)
Humane (¶17)
Animals (¶1)
Human Moral World (¶18)
Interests (¶1)
Moral Patients (¶20)
Moral Agent (¶1)
Moral Agents (¶20)
Valid Claim (¶1)
Human Morality (¶22)
Moral Right (¶3)
Capacities (¶24)
Biomedical Investigations (¶8)
Autonomy (¶25)
Morally Wrong (¶9)
Rationality (¶25)
Phantasm (¶10)
Actus Reas (¶26)
Justice (¶11)
Mens Rea (¶26)
Medical Experiments (¶11)
Moral State of Mind (¶26)
Obligations (¶13)
Antinomies (¶27)
Moral Principles (¶17)
Inherent Value (¶33)

Step 3: The Main Conceptual Question
Are rights reserved only to the human moral world?

Do animals have a moral state of mind?
Do the rights of humans override the rights of animals?
Is the use of animals in medical experiments not just?
Do rights entail obligations?
Do moral patients lack moral principles?
Are biomedical investigations (using animals) humane?

Step 4: The main Premise in Support of the Main Conclusion
(¶12) P1: Many obligations are owed by humans to animals; few will deny that. But it certainly does not follow from this that animals have rights because it is certainly not true that every obligation of ours arises from the rights of another.

(¶15) P2: One may be obliged to another for a special act of kindness done; one may be obliged to put an animal out of its misery in view of its condition- but neither the beneficiary of that kindness nor that dying animal may have had a claim of right.

(¶19) P3: Rights are of the highest moral consequence, yes; but zebras and lions and rats are totally amoral; there is no morality for them; they do no wrong, ever. In their world there are no rights.

(¶21) P4: When using animals in our research, therefore, we ought indeed be humane- but we can never violate the rights of those animals because, to be blunt, they have none. Right do not apply to them.

(¶40) [HP]: Most advances in medicine will continue to rely on the use of nonhuman animals, or they will stop.
[Can medicine further advance without the routine use of animals in experimentation?]

Preliminary Chart

Human Moral World
Human (¶18)
Moral Agents (¶20)
Obligations (¶16)
Human Morality (¶22)
Cognitive Criteria (¶25)
Moral Community (¶22)
Valid Claim (¶1)
Organic Moral Community (¶22)
Justice (¶11)
Objective Ethical Order (¶22)
Authority (¶14)
Moral Fabric (¶22)
Potential Claim (¶1)
Moral Self-Legislation (¶25)
Concept (¶27)
Inherent Value (¶34)

Carl Cohen systematically investigates whether it is that animals are capable of possessing rights. He tackles this controversy from both sides of the spectrum; dealing with why they can, and why they cannot. He formulates arguments in favor of the latter, ultimately concluding that animals cannot bear rights. Further, Cohen addresses many discrepancies with his adversary Tom Regan’s arguments; who is an advocate for animal’s rights. Cohen argues that rights are privy only to the human moral world, or better yet, only human beings are privy to rights – meaning, animals cannot bear rights. Further, although Cohen condones the routine use of animals in medical experimentation, he still appeals to their sentience, and thereby, contends to have them treated humanely. Moreover, Cohen argues that the concept of rights is essentially human; it is embedded in a human moral world, and is therefore exclusive only to human beings, because unlike animals, human...
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