Telos and the Ethics of Animal Farming

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The concept of animal welfare in confinement agriculture—and an ethical
theory based upon this concept—necessitates an idea ofwhat kind of being it is that fares well and what ‘‘well’’ is for this being. This double-question is at the heart of understanding and adequately defining welfare as qualitatively embedded in the experiencing subject. The notion of telos derives (philosophically) from Aristotle and is a way of accounting for the good life of an animal from the unique speciesness of the animal in question. The first part of the article will address the contemporary philosophical and ethical analysis of animals based upon this Aristotelian idea (Rollin in Animal rights and human morality (1st ed. 1981). Prometheus Books, New York, 2006b). Telos is here employed to illustrate the dimensions of what matters in welfare assessment and ethical evaluation. The second half of the article addresses some of the welfare problems in modern animal agriculture and how they relate to the telos concept. Two main examples are dealt with: Boredom (Wemelsfelder in Mental health and well-being in animals. Blackwell Publishing,Oxford, 2005) is argued as being the suffering of choicelessness in animals that are inherently beings that choose—and loneliness is the suffering of social isolation in animals forwhomstanding in active relations to others is part of what they are.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Volume26
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)691-709
ISSN1187-7863
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

@article{a3e428bf22c84db0a14b1fb152ce94dd,
title = "Telos and the Ethics of Animal Farming",
abstract = "The concept of animal welfare in confinement agriculture—and an ethicaltheory based upon this concept—necessitates an idea ofwhat kind of being it is that fares well and what ‘‘well’’ is for this being. This double-question is at the heart of understanding and adequately defining welfare as qualitatively embedded in the experiencing subject. The notion of telos derives (philosophically) from Aristotle and is a way of accounting for the good life of an animal from the unique speciesness of the animal in question. The first part of the article will address the contemporary philosophical and ethical analysis of animals based upon this Aristotelian idea (Rollin in Animal rights and human morality (1st ed. 1981). Prometheus Books, New York, 2006b). Telos is here employed to illustrate the dimensions of what matters in welfare assessment and ethical evaluation. The second half of the article addresses some of the welfare problems in modern animal agriculture and how they relate to the telos concept. Two main examples are dealt with: Boredom (Wemelsfelder in Mental health and well-being in animals. Blackwell Publishing,Oxford, 2005) is argued as being the suffering of choicelessness in animals that are inherently beings that choose—and loneliness is the suffering of social isolation in animals forwhomstanding in active relations to others is part of what they are.",
author = "Harfeld, {Jes Lynning}",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1007/s10806-012-9422-y",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "691--709",
journal = "Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics",
issn = "1187-7863",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "3",

}

Telos and the Ethics of Animal Farming. / Harfeld, Jes Lynning.

In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2013, p. 691-709.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Telos and the Ethics of Animal Farming

AU - Harfeld, Jes Lynning

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The concept of animal welfare in confinement agriculture—and an ethicaltheory based upon this concept—necessitates an idea ofwhat kind of being it is that fares well and what ‘‘well’’ is for this being. This double-question is at the heart of understanding and adequately defining welfare as qualitatively embedded in the experiencing subject. The notion of telos derives (philosophically) from Aristotle and is a way of accounting for the good life of an animal from the unique speciesness of the animal in question. The first part of the article will address the contemporary philosophical and ethical analysis of animals based upon this Aristotelian idea (Rollin in Animal rights and human morality (1st ed. 1981). Prometheus Books, New York, 2006b). Telos is here employed to illustrate the dimensions of what matters in welfare assessment and ethical evaluation. The second half of the article addresses some of the welfare problems in modern animal agriculture and how they relate to the telos concept. Two main examples are dealt with: Boredom (Wemelsfelder in Mental health and well-being in animals. Blackwell Publishing,Oxford, 2005) is argued as being the suffering of choicelessness in animals that are inherently beings that choose—and loneliness is the suffering of social isolation in animals forwhomstanding in active relations to others is part of what they are.

AB - The concept of animal welfare in confinement agriculture—and an ethicaltheory based upon this concept—necessitates an idea ofwhat kind of being it is that fares well and what ‘‘well’’ is for this being. This double-question is at the heart of understanding and adequately defining welfare as qualitatively embedded in the experiencing subject. The notion of telos derives (philosophically) from Aristotle and is a way of accounting for the good life of an animal from the unique speciesness of the animal in question. The first part of the article will address the contemporary philosophical and ethical analysis of animals based upon this Aristotelian idea (Rollin in Animal rights and human morality (1st ed. 1981). Prometheus Books, New York, 2006b). Telos is here employed to illustrate the dimensions of what matters in welfare assessment and ethical evaluation. The second half of the article addresses some of the welfare problems in modern animal agriculture and how they relate to the telos concept. Two main examples are dealt with: Boredom (Wemelsfelder in Mental health and well-being in animals. Blackwell Publishing,Oxford, 2005) is argued as being the suffering of choicelessness in animals that are inherently beings that choose—and loneliness is the suffering of social isolation in animals forwhomstanding in active relations to others is part of what they are.

U2 - 10.1007/s10806-012-9422-y

DO - 10.1007/s10806-012-9422-y

M3 - Journal article

VL - 26

SP - 691

EP - 709

JO - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

JF - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

SN - 1187-7863

IS - 3

ER -