In this chapter, I address two objections to animal neopragmatism: the anything goes objection and the no practical difference objection. The anything goes objection is in response to pragmatism’s signature rejection of philosophical realism and the correspondence theory of truth. The claim is that neopragmatism entails that there are no epistemic standards against which to evaluate rival claims in public deliberation about animal related issues. In response, I point out how a Peircean view of truth and a warranted assertibility theory of justification are compatible with neopragmatism. The no practical difference objection is that because neopragmatism preserves the vocabulary of welfare and rights, debate about animal protection will proceed in familiar terms in the usual ways. In response to this objection I stress that, consistent with its pragmatic inheritance, neopragmatism is an ameliorative theory. To conclude, I discuss the work of institutional animal ethics committees to illustrate the practical implications of neopragmatism. The inclusion of consensus or resonance in the neopragmatic theory of deliberation generates a hypothetical prudential obligation on the part of deliberators to be cognizant of the motivations of their fellow community of inquiry members.
KeywordsNeopragmatism Truth Knowledge Epistemology Realism Peirce Rorty James Price Animal Ethics Committees
- Bacon, Michael. 2012. Pragmatism: An introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Fish, Stanley. 2001. Holocaust denial and academic freedom. Valapariso University Law Journal 35 (3): 499–524.Google Scholar
- Garner, Robert. 2003. A theory of justice for animals. Oxford: Oxford University Pres.Google Scholar
- Guignan, Charles, and David R. Hiley. 2003. Introduction: Richard Rorty and contemporary philosophy. In Richard Rorty, ed. Charles Guignon and David R. Hiley, 1–40. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Gutting, Gary, 2003. Rorty’s critique of epistemology. In Richard Rorty, ed. Charles Guignon and David R. Hiley, 41–60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Kauppinen, Antti. 2016. Meaningfulness. In The Routledge handbook of the philosophy of well-being, ed. Guy Fletcher, 281–291. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Koopman, Colin. 2009. Pragmatism as transition: Historicity and hope in James, Dewey and Rorty. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Legg, Catherine, and Christopher Hookway. 2019. Pragmatism. In The Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2019/entries/pragmatism/. Accessed 29 March 2019.
- Malachowski, Alan. 2010. New pragmatists. Durham: Acumen.Google Scholar
- Misak, Cheryl. 2013. The American pragmatists. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Monamy, Vaughan. 2000. Animal experimentation: A guide to the issues. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Peirce, Charles Sanders.  1997. The fixation of belief. In Pragmatism: A reader, ed. Louis Menand, 7–25. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Putnam, Hilary. 2004. Ethics without ontology. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Rollin, Bernard. 2006. Regulation of animal research and the emergence of animal ethics: A conceptual history. Theoretical Medicine 27: 285–304.Google Scholar
- Rorty, Richard. 1979. Philosophy and the mirror of nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Rorty, Richard. 1991. Objectivity, relativism and truth: Philosophical papers, vol. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Russell, Denise. 2012. Why animal ethics committees don’t work. Between the Species 15 (1). https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol15/iss1/8/. Accessed 10 March 2019.