Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

What is the best definition of Speciesism?: Dr. Oscar Horta Ph.D.

What Is Speciesism?
Oscar Horta


Abstract: In spite of the considerable literature nowadays existing on the issue of the moral exclusion of nonhuman animals, there is still work to be done concerning the characterization of the conceptual framework with which this question can be appraised. This paper intends to tackle this task. It starts by defining speciesism as the unjustified disadvantageous consideration or treatment of those who are not classified as belonging to a certain species. It then clarifies some common misunderstandings concerning what this means.

Next, it rejects the idea that there are different kinds of speciesism. Such an idea may result from confusion because there are (1) different ways in which speciesism can be defended; and (2) different speciesist positions, that is, different positions that assume speciesism among their premises. Depending on whether or not these views assume other criteria for moral consideration apart from speciesism, they can be combined or simple speciesist positions. But speciesism remains in all cases the same idea.

Finally, the paper examines the concept of anthropocentrism, the disadvantageous treatment or consideration of those who are not members of the human species. This notion must be conceptually distinguished from speciesism and from misothery (aversion to nonhuman animals). Anthropocentrism is shown to be refuted because it either commits a petitio principia fallacy or it falls prey to two arguments: the argument from species overlap (widely but misleadingly known as “argument from marginal cases”) and the argument from relevance. This rebuttal identifies anthropocentrism as a speciesist view.

Please click this link to view and read the .pdf What is Speciesism?

The index of ARZone's online library of academic papers is here.

Views: 471

Reply to This


  • Add Videos
  • View All

ARZone Podcasts!

Please visit this webpage to subscribe to ARZone podcasts using iTunes


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow ARZone!

Please follow ARZone on:




A place for animal advocates to gather and discuss issues, exchange ideas, and share information.

Creative Commons License
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) by ARZone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Disclaimer

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is an animal rights site. As such, it is the position of ARZone that it is only by ending completely the use of other animal as things can we fulfill our moral obligations to them.

Please read the full site disclosure here.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Mission Statement

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) exists to help educate vegans and non-vegans alike about the obligations human beings have toward all other animals.

Please read the full mission statement here.





© 2023   Created by Animal Rights Zone.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service