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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 1, 2015

Jasper Doomen
Pages 37-50

Of Mosquitoes and Men: The Basis of Animal and Human Rights

This article discusses the status of animal rights, and more particularly whether these rights may be defended from a natural rights perspective or from an ethical perspective. I argue that both options fail. The same analysis applies in the case of mankind. ‘Mankind’ does not bring with it the acknowledgement such rights, nor does a focus on what is arguably characteristic of mankind, namely, reason. Reason is decisive, though, in another respect, namely, the fact that reasonable beings can claim and lay down rights. It does not follow from this that animals should have no rights, since human beings may be motivated to constitute such rights, while this provides the most solid basis for them.

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