College Station, Texas, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Applied Ethics
Areas of Interest
Applied Ethics
Normative Ethics
  •  61
    The moral relevance of the distinction between domesticated and wild animals
    In Tom Beauchamp & R. G. Frey (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 701-725. 2011.
    This article considers whether a morally relevant distinction can be drawn between wild and domesticated animals. The term “wildness” can be used in several different ways, only one of which (constitutive wildness, meaning an animal that has not been domesticated by being bred in particular ways) is generally paired and contrasted with“domesticated.” Domesticated animals are normally deliberately bred and confined. One of the article's arguments concerns human initiatives that establish relation…Read more
  •  13
    Influential parts of the veterinary profession, and notably the American Veterinary Medicine Association, are promoting the routine neutering of cats and dogs that will not be used for breeding purposes. However, this view is not universally held, even among representatives of the veterinary profession. In particular, some veterinary associations in Europe defend the view that when reproduction is not an issue, then neutering, particularly of dogs, should be decided on a case-by-case basis. How…Read more
  •  61
    Contested frameworks in environmental ethics
    In Ricardo Rozzi, Steward Pickett, Clare Palmer, Juan Armesto & J. Baird Callicott (eds.), Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World: Values, Philosophy and Action, Springer. pp. 191-206. 2014.
    This paper provides an overview of some key, and contrasting, ideas in environmental ethics for those unfamiliar with the field. It outlines the ways in which environmental ethicists have defended different positions concerning what matters ethically, from those that focus on human beings (including issues of environmental justice and justice between generations) to those who argue that non-human animals, living organisms, ecosystems and species have some kind of moral status. The paper also con…Read more
  •  552
  •  5
    Attfield and Animals: Capacities and Relations in Attfield's Environmental Ethics
    In Rebekah Humphries & Sophie Vlacos (eds.), Creation, Environment and Ethics, Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 105-120. 2011.
    Robin Attfield's work has been central to the development of environmental philosophy in a number of key areas, including stewardship, population, human development and the moral standing of living organisms. In this paper, I'll focus primarily on just one aspect of Attfield's work: human moral obligations to sentient animals. I'll first outline how, and in what ways, Attfield has argued that such animals are morally important. I'll then suggest that while providing a good grounding for some ce…Read more
  •  2
    Animal Liberation, Environmental Ethics and Domestication
    with Ethics &. Society Oxford Centre for the Environment
    . 1995.
  • Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management
    with Albert Borgmann, Holly Jean Buck, Wylie Carr, Forrest Clingerman, Maialen Galarraga, Benjamin Hale, Marion Hourdequin, Ashley Mercer, Konrad Ott, Ronald Sandler, Patrick Taylor Smith, Bronislaw Szerszynski, and Kyle Powys Whyte
    Lexington Books. 2012.
    Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management is a wide-ranging and expert analysis of the ethics of the intentional management of solar radiation. This book will be a useful tool for policy-makers, a provocation for ethicists, and an eye-opening analysis for both the scientist and the general reader with interest in climate change
  •  15
  • Animal Rights (edited book)
    Ashgate. 2008.
  •  47
    Animal Ethics in Context
    Columbia University Press. 2010.
    It is widely agreed that because animals feel pain we should not make them suffer gratuitously. Some ethical theories go even further: because of the capacities that they possess, animals have the right not to be harmed or killed. These views concern what not to do to animals, but we also face questions about when we should, and should not, assist animals that are hungry or distressed. Should we feed a starving stray kitten? And if so, does this commit us, if we are to be consistent, to feeding …Read more
  •  433
    The Blind Hens' Challenge: Does It Undermine the View That Only Welfare Matters in Our Dealings with Animals?
    with Peter Sandøe, Paul M. Hocking, Bjorn Förkman, Kirsty Haldane, and Helle H. Kristensen
    Environmental Values 23 (6): 727-742. 2014.
    Animal ethicists have recently debated the ethical questions raised by disenhancing animals to improve their welfare. Here, we focus on the particular case of breeding hens for commercial egg-laying systems to become blind, in order to benefit their welfare. Many people find breeding blind hens intuitively repellent, yet ‘welfare-only’ positions appear to be committed to endorsing this possibility if it produces welfare gains. We call this the ‘Blind Hens’ Challenge’. In this paper, we argue tha…Read more
  •  19
    Value Conflicts in Feral Cat Management: Trap-Neuter-Return or Trap-Euthanize
    In Michael Appleby, Dan Weary & Peter Sandoe (eds.), Dilemmas in Animal Welfare, Cabi International. pp. 148-168. 2014.
    This chapter explores the key values at stake in feral cat management, focusing on the debate over whether to use trap-neuter-return or trap-euthanize as management tools for cat populations. The chapter provides empirical background on unowned cats, sketches widely used arguments in favour of reducing cat populations and considers how these arguments relate to important and widely held values including the value of lives, subjective experiences and species. The chapter promotes critical underst…Read more
  •  27
    Should We Move the Whitebark Pine? Assisted Migration, Ethics and Global Environmental Change
    with Brendon M. H. Larson
    Environmental Values 23 (6): 641-662. 2014.
    Some species face extinction if they are unable to keep pace with climate change. Yet proposals to assist threatened species’ poleward or uphill migration (‘assisted migration’) have caused significant controversy among conservationists, not least because assisted migration seems to threaten some values, even as it protects others. To date, however, analysis of ethical and value questions about assisted migration has largely remained abstract, removed from the ultimately pragmatic decision about…Read more
  •  206
    Killing Animals in Animal Shelters
    In The Animal Studies Group (ed.), Killing Animals, edited by The Animal Studies Group, Illinois University Press. pp. 170-187. 2006.
    In this article, Palmer provides a clear survey of positions on killing domestic animals in animal shelters. She argues that there are three ways of understanding the killing that occurs in animal shelters: consequentialism, rights based, and relation based. She considers the relationship of humans and domesticated animals that leads to their killing in animal shelters as well as providing an ethical assessment of the practice.
  •  45
    This paper explores the idea of 'respect for nature' in the Earth Charter. It maintains that the Earth Charter proposes a broadly holistic environmental ethic where, in situations of conflict, species are given ethical priority over the lives of individual sentient organisms. The paper considers policy implications of this perspective, looking by means of example at the current European environmental policy dispute about the ruddy and white-headed duck. Questions about the value of species and b…Read more
  •  565
    Does Breeding a Bulldog Harm It?
    Animal Welfare 21 157-166. 2012.
    It is frequently claimed that breeding animals that we know will have unavoidable health problems is at least prima facie wrong, because it harms the animals concerned. However, if we take ‘harm’ to mean ‘makes worse off’, this claim appears false. Breeding an animal that will have unavoidable health problems does not make any particular individual animal worse off, since an animal bred without such problems would be a different individual animal. Yet, the intuition that there is something ethic…Read more
  •  74
    Animal Ethics
    with Peter Sandoe
    In Michael Appleby, Barry Hughes, Joy Mench & Anna Ollson (eds.), Animal Welfare, Cabi International. pp. 1-12. 2011.
    This chapter introduces ans discusses different views concerning our duties towards animals. First, we explain why we should engage in reasoning about animal ethics, rather than relying on intuitions or feelings alone. Secondly, we present and discuss five different kinds of views about the nature of our duties to animals. These are: contractarianism, utilitarianism, animal rights views, contextual views and what we call a "respect for nature" view. Finally, we briefly consider whether it is pos…Read more
  •  1
    Environmental Philosophy: Critical Concepts in the Environment (edited book)
    with J. Baird Callicott
    Routledge. 2004.
    This collection gathers classic, influential, and important papers in environmental philosophy ranging from the late 1960s and early 1970s to the present. The volumes explore environmental ethics, epistemological, metaphysical, and comparative worldview questions raised by environmental concerns. The set also represents a genuinely global and international focus, and includes a full index and new introductions by the editors.
  •  134
    “Taming the Wild Profusion of Existing Things”?
    Environmental Ethics 23 (4): 339-358. 2001.
    I explore how some aspects of Foucoult’s work on power can be applied to human/animal power relations. First, I argue that because animals behave as “beings that react” and can respond in different ways to human actions, in principle at least, Foucoult’s work can offer insights into human/animal power relations. However, many of these relations fall into the category of “domination,” in which animals are unable to respond. Second, I examine different kinds of human power practices, in particular…Read more
  •  22
    Stewardship
    In Ian Ball, Margaret Goodall, Clare Palmer & John Reader (eds.), The Earth Beneath, Spck. pp. 67-87. 1992.