Animal capabilities and freedom in the city

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Animals who live in cities must coexist with us. They are, as a result, entitled to the conditions of their flourishing. This article argues that, as the boundaries of cities and urban areas expand, the boundaries of our conception of captivity should expand too. Urbanization can undermine animals’ freedoms, hence their ability to live good lives. I draw the implications of an account of “pervasive captivity” against the background of the Capabilities Approach. I construe captivity, including that of urban animals, as affecting a range of animal capabilities, understood as freedoms, and I address some tensions within Nussbaum’s treatment of human-animal conflicts. Using the Capabilities Approach as a guide, I will attempt to motivate a convergence between habitat preservation in urbanized environments, urban design guided by justice, and the individual freedoms of animals.
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Archival date: 2021-01-06
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