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The Reception of Peter Singer’s Theories in France

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Peter Singer’s views on the status of nonhuman animals have attracted both attention and intense controversy in many Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and Germany. The reactions to his theories in France are less well known. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of critical responses to Singer by French academics and thinkers. How have they received Singer’s contention that we must bring nonhuman animals within the sphere of moral concern? Do French scholars agree with his utilitarian argument on marginal cases, his definition of the term “person,” his defense of the Great Ape Project? Finally, is he considered in France a brilliant and groundbreaking ethicist, a dangerous extremist, or somewhere in between?

Affiliations: 1: Université de Rennes 2 France, Email:


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