Summary of the philosophical distinction
Hedonistic utilitarianism and Regan's rights view are paradigm cases of what
philosophers take to be animal welfare and animal rights views, respectively.
- Utilitarianism (right actions and institutions maximize aggregate happiness), plus
- hedonistic conception of happiness (feeling pleasure and avoiding pain).
- Rejection of utilitarian justifications for harming individuals, where
- harm is conceived as diminution in the capacity to form and satisfy desires, and
- the miniride and worse-off principles are used to decide whom to harm where h
arm is inevitable.
© 1998 Gary E. Varner
[Back to Regan's rights view] -
[On to which animals] -
[Application to medical research]