Centre for Continuing Education

Philosophical Investigations Course: Animal Liberation

Philosophy. Study the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence.

Learn about philosophy the smart way with Philosophy courses at the University of Sydney.

One of the most remarkable and influential philosophical revolutions of recent times is the “animal liberation” movement. It has lead to the recognition of animal rights and/or “interests”; to a heightened awareness of sentience and animal suffering; and it has in several respects paved the way for a more scientifically informed and philosophically enlightened attitude in many parts of the world.


We will look closely at a number of questions and arguments: do other animals have rights and entitlements? If not, ought they to have such things? Do they have “interests” as some influential philosophers argue? Why does it matter?


At the completion of this philosophy course students should have:

  1. an understanding of animal liberation.
  2. an understanding of philosophical approaches to the question.
  3. an understanding of the ethical and metaphysical dimensions of the debate.


This Philosophy course will explore the following topics:

  • Introduction: What is “Animal Liberation”?
  • Do animals have “rights”?
  • Animals and “interests”.
  • Other animals and the environment.

Recommended Reading

  • Nussbaum, Martha, Cultivating Humanity
  • Regan, Tom, The Case for Animal Rights
  • Regan, Tom and Singer, Peter, Animal Rights and Human Obligations
  • Singer, Peter, Animal Liberation
  • Singer, Peter, Writings on an ethical life
  • Younis, R A, On the Ethical Life


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion