Lawrence Finsen

Lawrence Finsen is a professor of philosophy at University of Redlands in California, specializing in animal ethics. With his wife Susan Finsen, he is the author of The Animal Rights Movement in America: From Compassion to Respect (1994).[1]


Finsen attended public schools in Newton, Massachusetts. He obtained his BA in philosophy in 1973 from Lake Forest College, and his PhD in philosophy in 1982 from the State University of New York at Buffalo for a thesis on Roderick Chisholm and the mind-body problem. He became interested in animal rights after reading Peter Singer's Animal Liberation (1975). He joined the philosophy department at Redlands in 1979, and has taught courses in England on the animal rights movement, in mainland Europe on the Holocaust, and in 2004 spent a semester teaching at Reitaku University in Japan.[2]

Finsen focuses in particular on the issue of collective responsibility in relation to the treatment of animals, the extent to which individual actors feel impotent in the face of industrial processes such as factory farming, and whether such situations nevertheless confer on those individuals a moral responsibility.[2]

Selected publications

See also


  1. Rollin, Bernard E. "Ethics, animal welfare and ACUCs," in John P. Gluck, Tony DiPasquale, F. Barbara Orlans. Applied Ethics in Animal Research. Purdue University Press, 2002, p. 114.
  2. "Lawry Finsen", University of Redlands, accessed 30 May 2012.
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