Comments on Benedict Chan’s “International Animal Protection and Confucianism”
Dec 29, 2013
APCA Group Session, APA Eastern
Whether there could be a (distinctive and profitable) Confucian approach to animal rights (or animal protection as Benedict prefers to call it) is a topic worth exploring, and I would love to see Benedict’s argument be developed into its fullest form. But since at this stage Benedict’s paper remains a work-in-progress (only a very short, about-1,300-word draft as was sent to me), my comments will not be able to engage any detail of his argument, but will instead focus on the general direction he is heading. In fact, I think Benedict’s draft, while yet to be completed, is a good example for illustrating the main issues with which anyone who is interested in this approach – grounding animal protection on Confucian ideas – would have to deal. These issues, moreover, are roughly of two sorts: that of interpretive difficulty, and that of normative triviality.