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Against moral theories: reply to Benatar
  1. R Lawlor
  1. Dr R Lawlor, Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied, University of Leeds, 8–12 Fenton Street (Off Woodhouse Lane), Leeds LS2 9JT, UK; r.s.lawlor{at}


D Benatar argues that in the author’s recent article Moral theories in teaching applied ethics, the author overlooked important roles that could be played by moral theories in such teaching. In this reply, the cases that Benatar suggests are considered and for each an alternative approach is suggested that will avoid the costs discussed in the original paper and will also be a more effective response to that particular issue.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • i Consider, for example, Peter Singer’s arguments about the treatment of animals, comparing these cases with the treatment of humans with similar mental capacities (in response to those who appeal to animals’ mental capacities to defend our treatment of animals) (pp55–83, especially p67).4

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