Distributive Justice and Co-Operation in a World of Humans and Non-Humans: A Contractarian Argument for Drawing Non-Humans into the Sphere of Justice

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Coeckelbergh, Mark (2009) Distributive Justice and Co-Operation in a World of Humans and Non-Humans: A Contractarian Argument for Drawing Non-Humans into the Sphere of Justice. Res Publica, 15 (1). pp. 67-84. ISSN 0486-4700

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Abstract:Various arguments have been provided for drawing non-humans such as animals and artificial agents into the sphere of moral consideration. In this paper, I argue for a shift from an ontological to a social-philosophical approach: instead of asking what an entity is, we should try to conceptually grasp the quasi-social dimension of relations between non-humans and humans. This allows me to reconsider the problem of justice, in particular distributive justice. Engaging with the work of Rawls, I show that an expansion of the contractarian framework to non-humans causes an important problem for liberalism, but can be justified by a contractarian argument. Responding to Bell’s and Nussbaum’s comments on Rawls, I argue that we can justify drawing non-humans into the sphere of distributive justice by relying on the notion of a co-operative scheme. I discuss what co-operation between humans and non-humans can mean and the extent to which it depends on properties. I conclude that we need to imagine principles of ecological and technological distributive justice
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2009 Springer
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Behavioural Sciences (BS)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/76113
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11158-009-9080-8
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