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Humans and Dolphins: An Exploration of Anthropocentrism in Applied Environmental Ethics

Thomas I. White
Journal of Animal Ethics
Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 85-99
DOI: 10.5406/janimalethics.3.1.0085
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/janimalethics.3.1.0085
Page Count: 15
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Humans and Dolphins: An Exploration of Anthropocentrism in Applied Environmental Ethics
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Abstract

This article argues that one of the reasons that the unethical character of much human-dolphin contact is not more apparent to ethicists is that discussion of central issues has been colored with unintentional species bias. This article points out weaknesses in the traditional approach to discussing topics that bear on the question of whether dolphins have moral standing. It demonstrates that discussions of the cognitive abilities of dolphins by Steven Wise and Alasdair MacIntyre are unintentionally but fundamentally anthropocentric-largely because the authors are not familiar with enough of the scientific literature about dolphins to draw the conclusions that they do.

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