the stuff you quoted has no relevance to 99.99% of the population. Unfortunately a lot of vegan/AR activists spend too much time on useless philosophy. Thats not how social interactions work, and neither does social change.
Yeah, debating that kind of stuff is fun, kind of like playing some games, like dungeon & dragons, and equally useful for social change too.
Philosophers of course use a lot of time justifying why they are so important, but thats expected
Fun fact:I was a philosopher for ten years until last week
Your view about philosophers and AR is pretty common and to an extent i'm sympathetic but only to an extent.
We do need to separate out philosophy and rhetoric. Winning the argument often isn't enough, sadly.
You certainly go too far though. Singer's 'Animal Liberation' I'm pretty sure had a big impact and that's mainly a philosophy book. I'm sure others have also had a significant impact.
So I disagree insofar as I think the philosophy is important but I agree that winning the argument is insufficient for social change.
It also matters the sort of philosophy that is done. The dominant tradition right now in the Anglophone ethics world is frankly pretty useless due to it's methodology which very quickly abstracts away from stuff we actually care about. In particular the use that's been made of thought experiments is dodgy where your asked for your intuition about cases that you probably don't have any intuitions on (e.g. your on mars with a twin of yourself and a polar bear and you have to eat one ... okay i made that one up but it's not that far off the mark).
Oh hey and as far as this blog goes
1) they assume all AR people buy into the idea of 'specieism is what is wrong' (argh can't spell), probably because they think we are all utilitarians. That's not true. I don't rely on the concept myself and no one needs to in AR. It's interesting intellectually but unnecessary and a bad rhetorical move.
2) It's clear they haven't read any Singer even though they are talking about him. They don't understand Specieism which is (so it is argued) saying that human life is more valuable than non human animal simply by virtue of being human
. It's not Specieist to say (as Singer does) that almost all (note the caveat) human lives are more valuable because we usually have more of x (be it intelligence, richness of emotional lives, ability to make plans whatever ... pick one or two) than non human animals and x is morally valuable.
The real challenge to Singer isn't the one suggested in the blog but rather objecting to the implication (which is explicit in Singer) that some animals may be more
valuable than some (severely mentally disabled) humans.
edited for clarity
edited to add: without any
philosophy behind it AR would just be dogma. You probably engage in a lot of philosophy yourself but you just don't call it that. Basically anything that involves informal logic involves philosophy
edited to add: so yeah reading that blog is a waste of time. If you are interested in Challenges to Singer read Raymond Frey.
JS - They think it will open the door to folk like LordMuppet campaigning for a threeway?