A Philosophical Approach To Animal Rights Philosophy Essay

Rights are certain codes of freedom or some sort of allowed medians based o

In this particular instance the individual whose personality will be examined and evaluated is my own. To begin I will offer a brief overview of my personality as I see it, but this naturally comes with the disclaimer that my initial observations may be biased, especially considering that it is difficult for any person to view themselves objectively. From this point on I will also refer to myself in the third-person (i.e. the subject) to maintain a certain degree of distance from the evaluation.

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In general, the subject’s personality could be described as having a cautious balance between extroversion and introversion. While the subject functions well in both social and isolated environments, he tends to become irritable or bored when forced to dwell in either extreme for too long. In terms of social settings, the subject displays an outgoing personality yet never seeks to dominate a conversation or room. He seems to be comfortable taking up a supporting role, yet will consistently be an active participant in any situation. There is perhaps a more serious side to the subject’s personality as well. Especially in isolated or work environments, the subject tends to become quieter and immensely focused on the problem at hand. When looked at in succession, the subject’s actions in these two settings seem to display a subtlety dual personality depending on the particular setting in which he is placed. This does not seem to be a façade on any type, but rather the subject’s ability to adapt, for a period of time, to any given scenario. This supports the initial conclusion that the subject’s personality is fairly fluid and does not remain static over long periods of time. Yet these conclusions only represent a personal opinion of the subject’s personality and it is necessary to consider the subject in the light of professional psychological theories.

Perhaps one of the most well known theories of personality psychology is the Big Five, which bases its evaluation on five different factors. The first category is “openness” and within this realm the subject would fall on the lower end of the scale. While demonstrating intellectual curiosity, the subject does not show much interest in artistic or adventurous experiences. So while there is some degree of openness to new pursuits, the subject seems to limit his curiosity to a specific field, which lowers his “openness level”. The second factor of “conscientiousness” can be more easily attributed to the subject. In most situations, he will show a good deal of efficiency and display a degree of foresight/planning. While spontaneity might show a willingness to experience new things, the subject prefers to organize such things in advance. “Extraversion” is the social factor of the Big Five and, as described above, the subject seems to demonstrate both introversion and extroversion. With this in mind, the subject’s personality falls roughly in the middle of this scale, showing both a willingness to be outgoing and a desire to be on his own. The subject falls high on the “agreeableness” scale, as he does not display a high amount of aggression in a social setting. There is a natural competitiveness to his nature, but it remains completely in check and is only applied to appropriate situations. The subject’s personality shows a desire to be on good terms with those around him, and he does not purposefully judge his peers without reason. In terms of the final category, “neuroticism”, the subject is once again roughly in the middle of the scale. While he shows a good deal of confidence when entering a new situation, there are also particular instances that will easily anger him or cause him to become nervous. It is difficult to determine which extreme is brought up most often, but it is a fair assessment that the subject displays consistence confidence except for specific situation that draw out his ire or vulnerability. This is the basic evaluation of the subject’s personality through the Big Five system, but it should not be considered the absolutely correct assessment. While the Big Five is highly regarded as a theory, there are also other beliefs about personality that offer alternate or additional information.

Henry Murray’s personality theory is one that is not based upon specific categories, but rather is centered on the belief that a person’s personality is driven by what they perceive to be their needs and desires. When viewing the subject’s personality from this type of perspective, several new conclusions could be brought up. In terms of the subject’s life goals, it seems apparent that he does not plan on straying too far from the beaten path so to speak. The lower ranking on the “openness” level on the Big Five would support the desire of this person to pursue a career within society’s norms. His interest in intellectual pursuits would dictate that his desire is to go into an academic or business oriented career. This specific desire would push his personality away from acts of extreme spontaneity or any element that would knock him off his chosen path. The subject’s flip-flopping between extroversion and introversion could be based on his desire to occupy both extremes completely, but his inability to do so. As he feels at home in both a social and individual setting, the subject most likely has an innate desire for both situations yet is unable or unwilling to chose a particular lifestyle. The subject’s decision to remain as a supporting member of a conversation or of a team could, in Murray’s model, indicate a desire to be a part of a team. Rather than lead or risk exclusion by being too upfront with his personal opinion, the subject prefers to be an active yet subordinate member of a group. This could be construed as the subject’s desire to conform, but that is too harsh of a judgment and the more accurate conclusion is that the subject has his own opinions and wants but prefers to address them subtly rather than aggressively. Murray’s theory, especially when combined with the factors of the Big Five, help to offer a glimpse into the mind of the subject and why his personality has developed as it has.

Seligman’s theory of positive psychology can only add to the overall evaluation of the subject’s personality. This theory looks at the specific aspects of a person’s personality that are geared towards promoting a person’s happiness, a component that is often overlooked when examining psychology. The subject’s personality is very aligned with the pursuit of knowledge, which is considered by Seligman to be a basic part of human happiness. The subject chooses to continually better himself by learning new ideas. This promotes his own happiness by giving him a more educated and diverse view of the world. When combined with Murray’s theory, it could be said that the subject’s desire to be happy has pushed his personality to be intellectually curious as he recognizes on a subconscious level that these academic pursuits make him a happier person. This could also be applied to the fact that the subject is capable of controlling his baser emotions (anger, fear, etc.) so that they are not commonly visible. This shows a degree of self-restraint that allows the subject to exist within a comfortable and pleasant social setting. There are a variety of Seligman’s factors of positive psychology that the subject has not had enough life experience to fully be judged upon (courage, humanity, etc.). Nevertheless he does have a personality that can be viewed through the lenses of positive psychology. There are aspects of the subject’s demeanor that can only be explained when one considers that he acts this way in order to promote happiness for himself.

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When these three psychological theories/viewpoints are combined, one gets a much deeper understanding of the subject’s personality. If one chooses to only use a specific theory, then there will be a much more shallow assessment of this person and the way he acts. By using these three distinct theories the evaluation was able to understand the basic factors of the subject’s personality through the Big Five, gauge the subject’s desires through Murray, and see how his personality is adapted to allow for maximum happiness using Seligman’s positive psychology. All three are different approaches, but they can be combined and melded to allow for a well-rounded evaluation. At the closing of this paper, it seems appropriate to once again mention that this type of personality self-evaluation could be said to be extremely biased. They represent what I believe to be the most accurate assessment of my personality, yet it is often hard to judge yourself negatively or to admit any ulterior motives for the way you act. I have attempted to give the most fair and unbiased opinion as I could, but in the end, there is a reason that people are evaluated by outside psychologist/therapists rather than being left to their own judgments.


n certain legal system or ethical theories. Every organism born with some rights, it is the society or the system which understands and allocates these norms to that particular individual and also does the grading among the living beings. This paper is mainly concern with the animal’s rights, their legal position in our society and also their autonomy. Human being is by nature a selfish being and if we look through the window of history, man has been using animals for their benefits without caring about their rights and freedom.

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From very beginning human and animals are in close interactions with each other, human use them as food, make them to do their work, use them for decoration purpose, use them as watch man, use their lather and also use them for experimentation. In spite of hundreds of benefits which animals provide to human, human do no or less care about their rights and legal position and is busy in harming animals and violating legal norms which should be given to these animals. Non-human animals should be given rights and protection in the society and there should be a governing body which should govern and implements these rights and norms. It is a fact that animals are an important component of a country economy, the use of animals is a bit compulsory nowadays. Many industries such as lather industries, diary industries, pharmaceutical industries, food industries, and textile industries all rest on animals and their products. I have no objection regarding the use of animals but this use should be justified and limited and if the use is experimentation then the 3Rs Principlesshould be followed, which are Reduction, Refinement and Replacement. By reduction he means that reduce the number of animals used, if you are using 100, use 50. Similarly by refinement he means that refine your method so that less or no harm is given, by replacement he means that replace higher animals by lower animals or animals by computer models. There is a difference between use and cruelty, use and harm, it is clear that their use cannot be avoided but what can be done is to follow certain rules and guidelines regarding their use. These rules should be provided by an ethical committee and implemented by government. This paper will give you an idea about the thinking of various philosophers and great persons regarding animal rights from the very beginning till date.

Ancient world and Animals:

Human dominancy has been reported in “Genesis” which quotes that Adam was told to be dominated over fishes, creatures of winds and all creeping creatures, keeping this in mind man had violated animal rights for centuries and centuries. But in fact the quote does not mean that human should be cruel to animals; it only represents supremacy of humans over other creatures. On the other hand certain people believe that they are inferior to human because they lack rationality and language. These two reasons were considered as a right to use animals as food, clothing, for entertainment and as research subject.


The first ever school of thought who believed that human and non-humans have the same kind of soul, one spirit which infuses into the cosmos and make us one with animals. Pathagorous was the renowned figure of this school and he is also recognized as “first animal right philosopher “and “first animal liberationist”. He was against the use of animals in religious sacrifices and believed that these are our ancestor and killing them is killing our ancestors.


Aristotle teachings gives a fundamental importance to animals, he recognized some sort of relationships between human and animals and attempt to create a taxonomical classification. He reported that human and animals differ by possessing certain character and stated that some animals possess similar rational capacities to humans. However he denied non-human rationality and ethical morality, plants are created for the benefit of animals and animals are created for the benefit of human.

Locke: (1632-1704)

A prominent philosopher of modern age who spoke up hardly against animal cruelty, he stated that animals do have feelings like us and harming them is morally and ethically wrong. Further he forbid children from tormenting animals which give them pleasure, because he argue that this is hardening their mind towards men. .

Immanuel Kant: (1724-1804)

Of all philosophers Kant has an isolated thinking, he strictly oppose the idea that human have duties towards animals. Cruelty to animals is bad only and only because it is wrong for human beings. Humans have to take care of humans. “Cruelty to animals is contrary to man’s duty to himself, because it deadens in him the feeling of sympathy for their sufferings, and thus a natural tendency that is very useful to morality in relation to other humans is weakened.” “Animals are here just as a mean to an end and the end is man”.

Bentham: (1748-1832)

The founder of utilitarian school of thought strongly opposed the “natural right” concept which was previously presented by Rousseau, he argued that ability to suffer and ability to reason cannot be a base to treat other beings. If so then human babies and disabled persons should be treated as things. “The time will come, when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes.” He points out that the world is moving towards a state where lower animals will acquire those standard rights which they were never given before. In an infant of human no faculty is fully developed then why we respect him and full grown dog or horse is however more rational and diverse as compare to that child.

Martin’s Act: (1822)

It is known as the world first major peace of animal protection legislation, presented by Martin. This was mainly to protect cattle from cruelty and also an amount of punishment as fine was fixed as penalty.

Peter Sanger: (DOB: 6 July 1946)

An eminent represented of the utilitarian school of thought preferably act utilitarian. His great contribution to animal rights is his famous book “Animal Liberation” published in 1975. Sanger holds a position on equal consideration to interest of human animals. He says that it is not necessary that both human and animals be treated on a similar basis but it is necessary that both have similar capacity of felling pain or in other word suffering. In accordance to suffering or felling of pain both human and non-human are equal and same.

Tom Regan: (DOB: 1938)

Tom an American philosopher, who is specialized in animal right theory, according to his theory animals are subject of life, he mentioned that the moral value of human are due certain abilities. These abilities also are sometime found in animals, so according to rule the animals must also have the same rights as that of humans. Like human infants which is not capable of moral actions but he is still having moral values similar is the case of animals. . His views tie to that of Kant views, but Kant talks about human and Tom is talking about non-human animals that they must not be used as mere mean.

There are many organizations which are working for the benefit of animals. There sole motto is to stop the violence against these innocent creature of God. They are also organizing different seminars and conferences to arouse awareness regarding animal rights. Some of them are Animal Aid (UK), Animal Liberation Leagues, and Center on Animal Liberation Affair etc.

From above discussion it can be concluded that animals are an important part of our society, they can suffer, they can feel and they can react. They are innocent and loveable; they have some basic rights which should be given to them. As the world grows the use of animals also increases if human are not caring about animals, nothing can stop them from being diminished from earth. Taking care of animal rights is just like taking care of ourselves because it is a fact that human race is highly reliant on ant on animals. Experimentation use of animals must be minimized as it is selfishness that human is using animals for their own benefit, off course some time the benefit is mutual but it is in rear cases. Special guidance should be followed while using animal as a subject to handle them with an ethical manner. Similarly honesty, pity and softness is demanded in dealing with animals as they are not as rational as we are, as a sole rational animal of this world, we must care every organism because we are superior, and being superior is being responsible.


Bentham, Jeremy. Principles of Penal Law. Part III, 1781.

—Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, first published 1789.

Benthall, Jonathan. “Animal liberation and rights”, Anthropology Today, volume 23, issue 2, April 2007, p. 1.

Brooman, Simon. Law Relating to Animals. Cavendish Publishing, p. 40.

Encyclopedia Wikipedia, , 28-01-11)

Francione, Gary. Animals, Property and the Law. Temple University Press, 1995, pp. 36-7.

Gary Steiner, The Moral Status of Animals in the History of Western Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005, at page 47.

Kant, Immanuel. Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, part II

— Lecture on Ethics. L. Infield (trans.) HarperTorchbooks 1963

Locke, John. Some Thoughts Concerning Education, (1693).

Mark R. Fellenz, The Moral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights, University of Illinois Press, 2007, p. 90

Russell W.M.S. and Burch R.L.The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, (1959).

Scruton, Roger. “Animal Rights”, City Journal, summer 2000.

Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. Second edition, New York Review/Routledge, 1990, pp. 7-8.

Taylor, Angus. Animals and Ethics. Broad view Press, p. 34..

Tom Regan, The case of animal right, University of California Press, 1985


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