In this essay, I argue that contractualism, even when it is actually used to construe our moral duties towards non-human animals, does not do so naturally. We can infer from our experiences with companion animals that we owe moral duties to them because of special relationships we are in with them. We can further abstract that we owe general moral duties to non-human animals because they are the kinds of beings that we can have relationships with, and because of the capacities that make possible this relational capacity. This type of approach better explains our duties to non-human animals and other non-rational beings than does the trustee account that Scanlon leaves room for in his contractualism.
Elmore, Benjamin A.
"A Critique of Scanlon on the Scope of Morality,"
Between the Species:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol24/iss1/11