Animal Rights - Thomas Taylor
Despite Rousseau and Bentham, the idea that animals did or ought to have rights remained ridiculous. When Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), the British feminist writer, published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792, Thomas Taylor (1758—1835), a Cambridge philosopher, responded with an anonymous tract called Vindication of the Rights of Brutes, intended as a reductio ad absurdum. Taylor took Wollstonecraft's arguments, and those of Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (1790), and showed that they applied equally to animals, leading to the conclusion that animals have "intrinsic and real dignity and worth," a conclusion absurd enough, in his view, to discredit Wollstonecraft's and Paine's positions entirely.
Labels: animal rights