[Daily article] September 20: An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory

An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory, a 2010 textbook by the
British political theorist Alasdair Cochrane (pictured), was one of the
first works to link the question of animal rights to the concept of
justice in political philosophy. Cochrane’s book examines five schools
of political theory—utilitarianism, liberalism, communitarianism,
Marxism and feminism—and their positions on animal rights and the
political status of (non-human) animals. He concludes that each
tradition has something to offer, but ultimately prefers what he calls
an interest-based approach, building primarily upon liberalism and
utilitarianism. He argues that rights derived from interests can protect
animals and place limits on what can be done to them; these rights
cannot be violated, even in the name of the greater good. The Oxford
Centre for Animal Ethics described the book as “the first introductory
level text to offer an accessible overview on the status of animals in
contemporary political theory”. Cochrane’s account of interest-based
rights for animals was considered at greater length in his 2012 book
Animal Rights Without Liberation.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


King Harald III of Norway and Tostig Godwinson, his English
ally, fought and defeated the Northern Earls Edwin and Morcar in the
Battle of Fulford near York, England.


The French Army achieved its first major victory in the War of
the First Coalition at the Battle of Valmy.


The ocean liner RMS Mauretania, the largest and fastest ship in
the world at the time, was launched.


Hurricane Irene moved west from Nicaragua, and crossed from the
Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific, the first known tropical cyclone to do


During a televised address to a joint session of the United
States Congress, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “war on
terror” against Al-Qaeda and other global terrorist groups.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

Dissatisfied with current conditions; disaffected, discontented,

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The battle between good and evil is a legitimate theme for a
Fantasy (or for any work of fiction, for that matter), but in real life
that battle is fought chiefly in the individual human heart. Too many
contemporary Fantasies take the easy way out by externalizing the
struggle, so the heroic protagonists need only smite the evil minions of
the dark power to win the day. And you can tell the evil minions,
because they’re inevitably ugly and they all wear black. I wanted to
stand much of that on its head. In real life, the hardest aspect of the
battle between good and evil is determining which is which.  
–George R. R. Martin

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