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Wednesday, 22 January 2020 - 5.00pm
Location: 
Faculty of Law, G24

In his new book, Alasdair Cochrane argues that all sentient animals are fundamentally equal and have the same moral worth because they are all equally sentient. This is, in fact, a widespread view in animal rights law scholarship. But is it correct? In this session, we will be exploring the nature of sentience and its implications for equality and rights-holding. Questions we will be discussing include: is sentience an either-or matter or does it, like other natural capacities, come in degree? How important is the notion of equality in animal rights law? Are all animals equal or, to put it with George Orwell, are “some more equal than others”? Is sentience equality comparable to basic equality in human rights, and should it be?

The reading for this seminar is Chapter 2 “Equality, Rights, and Sentientist Politics” of Alasdair Cochrane’s Sentientist Politics: A Theory of Global Inter-Species Justice (Oxford University Press 2018) pp. 14-35. 

The Topics in Animal Rights Law Seminar is not a lecture, meaning that its focus lies on discussion, not presentations. Participants are expected to have read the assigned article or book chapter, and to come prepared to discuss it. Each seminar will have a chair who provides some context on the topic and moderates the discussion. The purpose of the seminar is to explore in depth some of the central issues in contemporary animal rights law scholarship.

All our events in the Talking Animals, Law & Philosophy series are free and open to all. No registration required.

For further information, please contact Raffael Fasel (rnf22@cam.ac.uk) or see www.animalrightslaw.org.

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