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William Gildea

Philosophy, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

Animal Rights and the Welfare They Protect

My PhD thesis asks what moral rights are based on and what this means for humans and animals. 

We tend to assume that humans have a higher moral status than non-human animals because of our more developed psychological capacities. This is in tension with the idea that the moral rights possessed by persons are equal in strength, even if they hold psychological capacities to differing degrees. My thesis aims to develop a new account of the relation between our moral rights and psychological capacity, which can resolve our intuitive judgements in a theoretically attractive way.

This account will then be leveraged to help answer applied questions in animal ethics, including those concerning meat production and animal suffering in the wild.

Research Area

  • Philosophy

Conferences

As well as presenting at graduate conferences, I have presented my work at academic conferences in Oxford, Kent, and Ireland.

Biography

I have a B.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Warwick. Before returning to Warwick, I worked in food policy for an NGO.