[Letters to Editor]

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[Ergo the rights of a pig are not the same as those of a baby, which is just the point which my purposely unsound parallel was intended to show. It is for Mr. Nicholson to prove that the parallel is sound, if he is to sustain his “erroneous premiss,” that the rights of men and animals are identical (the objection as to “motive” I ignore, because on the erroneous premiss in question the physiologist's motive might be sincerely stated and adequately proved as a motive by a declaration, say, in the marriage settlements). Instead of doing so, however, he alludes to one important difference between the rights of an animal and those of a man—the difference, namely, which arises from the latter being a member of human society. And this difference is in itself sufficient to nullify the force of all his rejoinders. Only on Mr. Nicholson's own supposition, that the rights of all living things are identical, could any of my propositions made with reference to animals be tested by their applicability to men. But this is just the supposition which I regard as absurd, and because it seems to me that ethical doctrine is here sufficiently patent—viz., that man as an intellectual, moral, and social being has rights additional to those of a merely sentient being. I will not take any further part in this correspondence.]

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ROMANES, G. [Letters to Editor]. Nature 20, 427 (1879) doi:10.1038/020427b0

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