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AU Scholars | Do Animals Matter?

Spring 2015

Though we tend to see the distinction between humans and animals as a “natural” fact, we rarely consider the moral implications of such a “fact.” In this seminar, we will have the opportunity to explore the ethical questions raised by current practices involving non-human animals. Examining such practices with the tools provided by moral philosophy, we will also consider whether the distinction we appear to “naturally”draw between human and animal may be related to other forms of social injustice. In addition to the course readings, we will make use of films and site visits (such as the National Zoo) to diversify the scope of the class. Students enrolled in this research component will learn to create cogent arguments and to work effectively in a collaborative environment. More importantly, students will acquire and refine their skills in ethical reasoning.