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Received opinion has it that humans are morally superior to non-human animals; human interests matter more than the like interests of animals and the value of human lives is alleged to be greater than the value of nonhuman animal lives. Since this belief causes mayhem and murder, its de-mythologizing requires urgent attention.
1. On the Relative Unimportance of Human Interests
1.1. Setting the Stage
1.2. What Do We mean When We Say that Human Interests are More Significant than Animal Interests?
1.3. Does the Cosmos Inform Us that Human Interests are More Significant than Animal Interests?
1.4. Should Humans Consider Human Interests More Significant than Animal Interests?
2. On the Relative Unimportance of Human Life
2.1. Setting the Stage
2.2. The Disvalue of Death Argument
2.3. Why Your Death is Less Important than You Think
2.4. The Problem With Valuing Capacities
2.5. From Preservation to Creation
2.6. Mill's Argument
Mark Bernstein is the Joyce and Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Philosophy at Purdue University, and a founding member of the Oxford Centre on Animal Ethics. He has previously published three books: Fatalism, On Moral Considerability, and Without A Tear.