Volume 4, Issue 4, Winter 1982
Steve F. Sapontzis
The Moral Significance of Interests
Several philosophers opposed to animal rights have recently sought to justify their opposition by arguing that the epistemic differences between human and animal interests (often referred to as “taking an interest” vs. “having an interest”) constitute a morally significant difference. In this paper, I first detail the various forms ofhaving an interest and oftaking an interest. I then evaluate the moral significance of these differences from both utilitarian and deontological viewpoints. The conclusion of this analysis is that the epistemic differences between human and animal interests are not morally significant.