College Station, Texas, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Applied Ethics
Areas of Interest
Applied Ethics
Normative Ethics
  •  590
    A Bibliographical Essay On Environmental Ethics'
    Studies in Christian Ethics 7 (1): 68-97. 1994.
  •  538
    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
  •  537
  •  406
    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
  •  214
    Place-Historical Narratives: Road—or Roadblock—to Sustainability?
    Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (3). 2011.
    Ethics, Policy & Environment, Volume 14, Issue 3, Page 345-359, October 2011.
  •  202
    Technology assessment and the 'ethical matrix'
    Poiesis and Praxis 1 (4): 295-307. 2003.
    This paper explores the usefulness of the 'ethical matrix', proposed by Ben Mepham, as a tool in technology assessment, specifically in food ethics. We consider what the matrix is, how it might be useful as a tool in ethical decision-making, and what drawbacks might be associated with it. We suggest that it is helpful for fact-finding in ethical debates relating to food ethics; but that it is much less helpful in terms of weighing the different ethical problems that it uncovers. Despite this dra…Read more
  •  196
    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.
  •  185
    Some Problems With Sustainability
    Studies in Christian Ethics 7 (1): 52-62. 1994.
  •  153
    Constructions of the animal and animality are often pivotal to religious discourses. Such constructions create the possibility of identifying and valuing what is "human" as opposed to the "animal" and also of distinguishing human beliefs and behaviors that can be characterized as being animal from those that are "truly human." Some discourses also employ the concept of savagery as a bridge between the human and the animal, where the form of humanity but not its ideal beliefs and practices can be…Read more
  •  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
  •  72
    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
  •  68
    In his paper The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem (Nanoethics 2:305–316, 2008) Paul Thompson argues that the possibility of disenhancing animals in order to improve animal welfare poses a philosophical conundrum. Although many people intuitively think such disenhancement would be morally impermissible, it’s difficult to find good arguments to support such intuitions. In this brief response to Thompson, I accept that there’s a conundrum here. But I argue…Read more
  •  63
    What (If Anything) Do We Owe Wild Animals?
    Between the Species 16 (1): 4. 2013.
    It’s widely agreed that animal pain matters morally – that we shouldn’t, for instance, starve our animal companions, and that we should provide medical care to sick or injured agricultural animals, and not only because it benefits us to do so. But do we have the same moral responsibilities towards wild animals? Should we feed them if they are starving, and intervene to prevent them from undergoing other forms of suffering, for instance from predation? Using an example that includes both wild and…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
  •  60
    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
  •  59
    Should We Offer Assistance to Both Wild and Domesticated Animals?
    The Harvard Review of Philosophy 25 7-19. 2018.
    In this paper, I consider whether we should offer assistance to both wild and domesticated animals when they are suffering. I argue that we may have different obligations to assist wild and domesticated animals because they have different morally-relevant relationships with us. I explain how different approaches to animal ethics, which, for simplicity, I call capacity-oriented and context-oriented, address questions about animal assistance differently. I then defend a broadly context-oriented ap…Read more
  •  57
    This paper explores the relationships between Christianity, Englishness, and ideas about the southern English landscape in the writings of the 1930s and 1940s rural commentator, H.J. Massingham. The paper begins by looking in general terms at the conjunction of religious and national identities in the context of national landscapes before moving on to consider in more detail one particular instance of this in the writing of H.J. Massingham. Massingham's understanding of a divine natural order, h…Read more
  •  54
    Ethics of WIldife Management and Conservation: What Should we Try To Protect?
    with Christian Gambourg and Peter Sandoe
    Nature Education Knowledge 3 (7): 8. 2012.
  •  53
    Three Questions on Climate Change
    Ethics and International Affairs 28 (3): 343-350. 2014.
    Climate change will have highly significant and largely negative effects on human societies into the foreseeable future, effects that are already generating ethical and policy dilemmas of unprecedented scope, scale, and complexity. One important group of ethical and policy issues raised here concerns what I call environmental values. By this I do not mean the impact that climate change will have on the environment as a valuable human resource, nor am I referring to the changing climate as a thre…Read more
  •  53
    Commentary on the Future of Environmental Philosophy
    with Robert Frodeman, Dale Jamieson, J. Baird Callicott, Stephen M. Gardiner, and Lori Gruen
    Ethics and the Environment 12 (2): 117-150. 2007.
  •  50
    For their own good: captive cats and routine confinement
    with Peter Sandoe
    In Lori Gruen (ed.), Ethics of Captivity, Oxford University Press. pp. 135-155. 2014.
  •  47
    Environmental Ethics
    with Katie McShane and Ron Sandler
    Annual Review of Environment and Resources 39 419-442. 2014.
    Environmental ethics—the study of ethical questions raised by human relations with the nonhuman environment—emerged as an important subfield of philosophy during the 1970s. It is now a flourishing area of research. This article provides a review of the secular, Western traditions in the field. It examines both anthropocentric and nonanthropocentric claims about what has value, as well as divergent views about whether environmental ethics should be concerned with bringing about best consequences,…Read more
  •  46
    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
  •  44
    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
  •  43
    The Idea of the Domesticated Animal Contract
    Environmental Values 6 (4). 1997.
    Some recent works have suggested that the relationship between human beings and domesticated animals might be described as contractual. This paper explores how the idea of such an animal contract might relate to key characteristics of social contract theory, in particular to issues of the change in state from 'nature' to 'culture'; to free consent and irrevocability; and to the benefits and losses to animals which might follow from such a contract. The paper concludes that there are important di…Read more
  •  43
    An Overview of Environmental Ethics
    In Holmes Rolston & Andrew Light (eds.), Environmental Ethics, Blackwell. pp. 15-37. 2002.
  •  37
    Colonization, urbanization, and animals
    Philosophy and Geography 6 (1). 2003.
    Urbanization and development of green spaces is continuing worldwide. Such development frequently engulfs the habitats of native animals, with a variety of effects on their existence, location and ways of living. This paper attempts to theorize about some of these effects, drawing on aspects of Foucault's discussions of power and using a metaphor of human colonization, where colonization is understood as an "ongoing process of dispossession, negotiation, transformation, and resistance." It argue…Read more