"; ...expected equal-sign: plot=y, or plot=May 2007.
This page focuses on the issues that appear in philosophy which regard animals. Most philosophical arguments that involve animals fall under the topic of ethics or under the topic of consciousness. (add wiki links to animal ethics and animal consciousness
Animal ethics arguments
Arguments for animals rights
The Argument from Marginal Cases details reasons why animals should be given similar ethical consideration as human beings. The argument attempts to do so by comparing persons with brain functions that are either developmental or dysfunctional, to a specific degree, to animals. It is then assumed that, since these persons are treated the same, even though they are under these conditions, animals should be included in this moral category.
Arguments against animal rights
One argument that speaks against Animal Rights is the argument put forth in in Immanuel Kant's "A Critique of Pure Reason." This argument states that a being that is to be considered for a moral status such as that given to humans must first be shown to have the trait of autonomy. Kant expressly states that this autonomy is not desire in the survival sense but more of desire based on actions that are wanted rather than needed.
Animal consciousness arguments
Arguments for animal consciousness
One argument for animal consciousness comes from Thomas Nagel. He states that if asked why one thinks that their pets or animals observed man people would bring up common sense reasons to explain why they thought such things. These common sense reasons, he states, may also be based in more objective/scientific based facts about animal behavior.
Arguments against animal consciousness
An argument against animals having consciousness comes from the famous René Descartes. He believed that animals were just organic machines and that, while they could be made to appear conscious, these animals were not actually conscious. He went about doing this by explaining their behavior without presuming them to be conscious.