Dans le cadre des midis de l’éthique du CRÉ, Frauke Albersmeier nous offrira une présentation intitulée « The dire circumstances of interspecies justice ».
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The idea of the “circumstances of justice” concerns the conditions in which justice becomes attainable and, therefore, duties of justice arise. A mere moderate scarcity of resources is one of these conditions: a limited, yet in principle sufficient supply of critical resources makes efforts for justice necessary, but also makes it possible that everyone will receive “their due.” The idea of the circumstances of justice originated in anthropocentric traditions of theorizing justice. Lately, proponents of theories of interspecies justice have appealed to it in an effort, inter alia, to distinguish situations in which humans are under certain obligations towards nonhuman animals from those in which such obligations cease to exist – because conditions are just too dire. However, recognizing nonhuman animals as subjects of justice raises new problems with the way the supposed preconditions of justice are construed in the first place and about their role for delimiting the scope of justice. With a radically expanded set of individuals who are owed consideration in matters of justice, circumstances frequently appear to be dire rather than conducive to allocating to everyone their “fair share.” While this should imply that justice is, in some sense, impossible in many scenarios, theories of interspecies justice routinely start from the idea that justice applies at least among humans as well as among humans and some nonhuman animals. The question arises whether these claims can be based on nonspeciesist ways of dividing up the moral community (a question which assumes that the so-called circumstances of justice are at least not the circumstances of justifiability). And what would the implications be for the project of (interspecies) justice if this could not be done?