Life on the Lifeboat: stylizing ethical dilemmas in the philosophy and activism of animal protection

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Abstract

Animal protection activism has a longstanding relationship to formal philosophizing, most notably through the philosophy of animal rights. Within that tradition, the stylized ethical dilemma plays an important role. This is especially true for the formative work of Tom Regan, where the lifeboat problem is a central argumentative resource. Based on fieldwork with a Scottish animal protection organization, this paper explores that relationship but also examines how else activists approach the use of stylized and abbreviated examples. More broadly, the paper is concerned with the equivocating relationship at the heart of this practice. That is, between ethical dilemmas and their apparent stylizations, and on the other hand between dilemmas and the philosophical arguments that they are taken to serve.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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