36 Facts About Alasdair Cochrane


Alasdair Cochrane was born on 31 March 1978 and is a British political theorist and ethicist who is currently Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield.


Alasdair Cochrane is known for his work on animal rights from the perspective of political theory, which is the subject of his two books: An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory and Animal Rights Without Liberation.


Alasdair Cochrane is a founding member of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice, a UK-based think tank focused on furthering the social and political status of nonhuman animals.


Alasdair Cochrane joined the Department at Sheffield in 2012, having previously been a faculty member at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics.


Alasdair Cochrane is known for his interest-based account of animal rights, a theory of justice according to which animals have rights based on their possession of normatively-significant interests.


In particular, Alasdair Cochrane argues that sentient animals' interests against suffering and death ground prima facie rights against the infliction of suffering and death.


Alasdair Cochrane argues that nonhuman animals do not possess an intrinsic interest in freedom.


Alasdair Cochrane has proposed a cosmopolitan alternative to Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka's picture of a political animal rights, explicated in their 2011 book Zoopolis.


Alasdair Cochrane studied in the Department of Politics at Sheffield as an undergraduate.


Alasdair Cochrane received a first-class honours degree in politics in 2000 from the university.


Alasdair Cochrane subsequently obtained an MSc in political theory from the London School of Economics.


In 2007, Alasdair Cochrane received a PhD from the Department of Government at the LSE.


Alasdair Cochrane's thesis, supervised by Fabre with Paul Kelly acting as an advisor, was entitled Moral obligations to non-humans.


In that year, Alasdair Cochrane published his first peer-reviewed research article: "Animal rights and animal experiments: An interest-based approach".


In 2007, after completing his postgraduate studies, Alasdair Cochrane joined the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the LSE.


Alasdair Cochrane was initially a fellow, then became a lecturer.


Alasdair Cochrane then considers the place of nonhuman animals in utilitarian, liberal, communitarian, Marxist and feminist political theory, concluding that no single tradition is sufficient to account for the place nonhuman animals should have in politics, but that all have something worthwhile to offer to the debate.


In 2011 Alasdair Cochrane became a founding member of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice.


In January 2012 Alasdair Cochrane became a faculty member in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, first as a lecturer in political theory, and then as a senior lecturer in political theory.


Alasdair Cochrane contributed to the inaugural issue of the journal Law, Ethics and Philosophy as a part of a symposium on Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka's Zoopolis.


Alasdair Cochrane has research interests in animal ethics, bioethics, environmental ethics, rights theory, and human rights, as well as contemporary political theory more broadly.


Alasdair Cochrane is a leading figure in what Garner calls the "political turn in animal ethics", though precisely what this means is disputed.


Similarly, Tony Milligan characterises Alasdair Cochrane as a key figure in the "political turn in animal rights", while Svenja Ahlhaus and Peter Niesen identify a discipline of "Animal Politics", of which Alasdair Cochrane's work is a major part, separate from animal ethics.


Alasdair Cochrane, Garner and O'Sullivan argue both that the new literature is importantly unified and that it is distinct from more traditional approaches to animal ethics, presenting the focus on justice as the key feature.


Alasdair Cochrane suggests that rights should be grounded in interests, and follows Joseph Raz's formulation that.


Sentient animals, Alasdair Cochrane argues, possess significant interests in not being made to suffer and in not being killed, and so have a prima facie right not to be made to suffer and a prima facie right not to be killed.


Alasdair Cochrane explores the consequences of the account in his Animal Rights Without Liberation, arguing that, with very few exceptions, nonhuman animals have a concrete rights not to be killed or made to suffer in animal testing, animal agriculture, in entertainment, for environmental purposes and in cultural practices.


Alasdair Cochrane is not the first theorist to advocate an interest-based account of animal rights.


Alasdair Cochrane conceptualises owned animals as "individual sentient creatures with interests of their own".


All three authors praise Alasdair Cochrane for drawing attention to the previously under-examined issue.


The philosopher Friederike Schmitz draws upon Wyckoff's argument in her challenge to Alasdair Cochrane, arguing that it is necessary not only to consider whether ownership will harm animals in particular cases, but to explore the effects of the institution of animal ownership.


Donaldson and Kymlicka offer a defence of their zoopolis picture against Alasdair Cochrane's criticism, affirming the importance of nonhuman animals' interests in their territory and the legitimacy of offering benefits to members of particular societies denied to non-members.


Alasdair Cochrane is of the view that "a lack of a clear, focused and coherent set of international standards and policies for animal protection is an important contributing factor" to the gulf between the theoretical and legal valuation of nonhuman animals and their treatment around the world.


Alasdair Cochrane is critical of the use of claims about dignity in debates about the genetic engineering of nonhuman animals, in questions about the use of nonhuman animals in human entertainment, and in the bioethics literature.


Alasdair Cochrane has sympathy for the standard criticisms of dignity in bioethics, and, in a 2010 paper, defends these criticisms against counter-claims from those who endorse various understandings of dignity.


Alasdair Cochrane holds that human rights should be reconceptualised as sentient rights.