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The Use of Non-human Animals

When the incident occurred in mid1989, as an example, it was difficult, if not impossible, to identify all of the consequences that would eventually derive from the Alaska oil spill in the spring of that year. A utilitarian evaluation in 1989 of the justifications of the actions that led to the oil spill, thus, would have been incomplete, speculative, or both.

Utilitarian philosophy is relatively simple in concept. It is often difficult, however, to apply utilitarian philosophy to specific actions, and it is often even more difficult to develop a consensus of the parties concerned as to the validity of a utilitarian evaluation.

The type of utilitarian philosophy described above is referred to as act utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism is differentiated from rule utilitarianism, in which types of actions lead to general rules. Under rule utilitarianism, actions are evaluated within the context of general rules, as opposed to their own specific outcomes. The Alaska oil spill of 1989 may also be used to distinguish between act and rule utilitarianism. Within the context of act utilitarianism, the actions of those responsible for the oil tanker Valdez would be evaluated within the context of the outcomes of the oil spill in Prince William Sound. Within the context of rule utilitarianism, however, the outcomes associated with the event would be considered with respect to the general rule which permitted the transport of crude oil through Prince William Sound. In a similar manner, both act and rule utilitarianism may be used in the development of utilitarianbased law applicable to the treatment of animals.

In addition to act and rule utilitarianism, utilitarian philosophy is also categorized as (1) egoistic or universalistic, (2) hedonistic or idealistic, and (3) normative or descriptive. These latter distinctions may apply to either act or rule utilitarianism. The egoistic/universalistic distinction depends upon ...

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The Use of Non-human Animals. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:38, August 18, 2017, from
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