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Torture and the Corrida


In recent years the debate over the moral status of bullfighting has been focused on whether or not it should be characterized as a form of torture. Francis Wolff has argued that it should not be, and Gabriel Andrade has claimed that it should be. But in my view neither author adequately defines bullfighting or torture. In this essay I have three goals. The first is to provide an adequate account of bullfighting, including its structure and meaning. The second is to define the necessary conditions for torture. And the third is to show that bullfighting meets those conditions. Thus, any defense of bullfighting must be a justification of that form of torture.

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