Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Ethics and Policy Studies

Number of Pages



The Interdependent Morality Directive: An Extension of the Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics Debate offers a foundation that seeks to reconcile the contending arguments from the animal rights and the environmental ethics schools of thought. By constantly emphasizing the interdependency of all members of the biosphere, the Interdependent Morality Directive offers a unique perspective concerning how humans can learn to interact with the Earth's varied and diverse life forms. First, this thesis presents an analysis of two opposing camps: (1) the environmentalist argument as represented by Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac (the land ethic) and Paul Taylor's Respect For Nature and (2) the animal rights argument of Tom Regan in his book The Case for Animal Rights. Next, the point of conflict between these two groups is examined showing how the environmentalist's concern for the land is in direct conflict with the animal rightist's focus on non-human animals. Finally, the Interdependent Morality Directive is presented. David Hume's concept of sympathy is referenced as a principle basis for this argument. The Interdependent Morality Directive seeks to extend both the animal rights and environmental theories, claiming that by adopting an all-members-of-the-biosphere-are-interdependent philosophy, each school of thought can create more efficient policy proposals using Richard Taylor's "Interpretive" approach to policy analysis.


Animals; Debate; Directive; Environmental; Ethics; Extension; Interdependent; Morality; Rights

Controlled Subject

Philosophy; Environmental sciences; Political science

File Format


File Size

4290.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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