Tag Archives: Animals

"South Africa's Private Parks: How They Plan To Save the Wildlife"

David Schmidtz, University of Arizona
October 1st, 2003, 8:00 to 9:00 pm
Bentley 227

david_schmidtzWhat is an optimal ownership pattern for contemporary societies? History is full of examples of people converting communally held land into private parcels. How often do people voluntarily move the other way? Not often. On our most recent trip to South Africa, though, we were surprised to find a confluence of economic, ecological, and cultural forces leading private landowners voluntarily to convert private parcels into a jointly managed commons.

David Schmidtz began his teaching career at Yale University in 1988 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1991. After spending 94-95 at Bowling Green State U, David moved to the University of Arizona in 1995 and was promoted to Professor of Philosophy and joint Professor of Economics in 1998. Dave has published five books and lectured in thirteen countries on six continents. His articles have appeared in Journal of Philosophy, Political Theory, and Ethics. Fourteen have been reprinted. He is an avid hiker, bird-watcher, and photographer. He met Elizabeth Willott in high school and they have been together for 30 years. In 1999 and again in 2001, they went to Africa to study community-based wildlife management.

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Defining Success: Assessing the Feasibility of Pig-to-Human Transplantation

Ololade Olakanmi, Grinnell College

Winner, 2003 essay contest

In light of the severe shortage of transplantable organs, scientists have been seriously considering using pigs as potential organ donors. In the past, pig-to-human transplantation was an idle hope, but with recent advances researchers have been able to develop this procedure into a potential therapy. However, the utilization of this procedure also begets a multitude of moral, ethical and biological dilemmas which must be addressed if animal-to-human transplantation is ever to become a clinical reality. In this essay I will enumerate and attempt to rationally reach a conclusion on many of the dilemmas that encircle the issue of cross-species transplantation. I will especially focus on many of the biological concerns. Furthermore, I will argue that before pig-to-human transplantation is implemented, the scientific community must agree on the degree of laboratory ?success? necessary for this procedure to advance into clinical trials.

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Altruism and Animals

Annie Baril, University of Arizona

From whence are our moral obligations to others derived? If we accept Thomas Nagel’s argument, some degree of altruism, some ?willingness to act in consideration of the interests of other persons?, is demanded of us, on pain of irrationality. (The Possibility of Altruism, 79) If I am properly conceiving of myself as just one individual among other, equally real individuals, then another’s attitudes towards her own needs, interests, and desires (hereafter, welfare) ought to be, prima facie, reason-providing for me. I propose, contra Nagel, that altruism, in this sense, imposes on moral agents demands of equal force whether the potential recipient of moral action is capable of reciprocation or not. Nagel’s argument depends on second-order attitudes: another’s attitudes toward’s her own welfare is what ought to motivate us to act on her behalf. But it is ultimately the attitudes of someone towards her self and her own experiences, not her reflection upon these attitudes, that gives us prima facie reason to act on her behalf. What we see as the motivational force of reasons comes from the attitudes of the subject (which needn’t be second-order) from which these reasons are derived. Therefore the differences between humans and many non-humans (and between the rational and the non-rational generally) are not relevant to the establishment of claims on us as agents.

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Feminism, Animals, and Ethics: The Sexual Politics of Meat

Feminism, Animals, and Ethics: The Sexual Politics of Meat
Carol Adamms
October 14th, 1998

Public lecture and slide show by Carol Adams

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Lectures in Environmental Ethics Series #2: "Of Mosquitoes & Ethics"

Lectures in Environmental Ethics Series #2: “Of Mosquitoes & Ethics”
Elizabeth Willott, University of Arizona
November 1st, 2006, 8:00 to 9:30 pm
Bentley Hall 140

elizabeth_willottA lively look at little bugs that are not just annoying but can be one of our deadliest foes. Willott describes the problems that arise when we attempt to manage mosquitoes, then goes on to explore the interdisciplinary and ethical quandaries our efforts create.


Elizabeth Willott, on faculty at the University of Arizona, does interdisciplinary work in ecology and environmental ethics. She publishes in a range of professional journals and is editor of the anthology Environmental Ethics: What really matters, what really works (Oxford Univ Press, 2002; co-edited with David Schmidtz). She has twice been a Fulbright Senior Scholar in environmental science: to Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala (October 2004) and to Rhodes University in South Africa (Summer 2005). She is currently starting another book, on the interface of conservation biology and environmental ethics.

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