Are all species equal?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Species egalitarianism is the view that all species have equal moral standing. To have moral standing is, at a minimum, to command respect, to be something more than a mere thing. Is there any reason to believe that all species have moral standing in even this most minimal sense? If so — that is, if all species command respect — is there any reason to believe they all command equal respect? The article summarises critical responses to Paul Taylor’s argument for species egalitarianism, then explains why other species command our respect but also why they do not command equal respect. The intuition that we should have respect for nature is part of what motivates people to embrace species egalitarianism, but one need not be a species egalitarian to have respect for nature. The article closes by questioning whether species egalitarianism is even compatible with respect for nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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