Download PDF by Thomas Ryan (auth.): Animals and Social Work: A Moral Introduction

By Thomas Ryan (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230306861

ISBN-13: 9780230306868

ISBN-10: 1349323268

ISBN-13: 9781349323265

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Extra resources for Animals and Social Work: A Moral Introduction

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Margaret Thatcher’s remarkable decree that there is no such thing as society, only individuals, represented the apotheosis of individualism, but is belied by the reality that individuals require a social matrix in order to flourish (Taylor, 1985); as the wisdom of the Irish proverb confirms, it is in the shelter of each other that the people live. The notion that personal bonds and mutual interdependence somehow limit our freedom and are inimical to our natures is nonsensical given the social beings we incontrovertibly are – indeed ‘For us bonds are not just awkward constraints.

25) insists, have a right ‘to be treated not as a, but as this human being’. Such sentiments are ubiquitous in social work literature; Goldstein (1973, p. xiii) claims that ‘distinct individuals’ are the ultimate concern of social work, Hollis (1972, p. 14) regards it as the ‘fundamental characteristic of casework’, and Shaw (1974, p. xiii) claims that social work ‘is about understanding the individual, rather than knowledge about people in general’. 24 Animals and Social Work: A Moral Introduction Whilst social work knowledge has historically been primarily derived from the disciplines of psychology and sociology (Butrym, 1982; Wilkes, 1981), its philosophical roots can be traced to Christianity (Bowpitt, 1998; Niebuhr, 1932; Siporin, 1986) – Calvinism and Pauline theology (Grimm, 1970) in particular, and classical liberalism (Clark and Asquith, 1985; Woodroofe, 1971) – and the manner in which social workers practice is more likely to be guided, albeit unconsciously, by Pauline rather than Kantian principles.

Without opinions of this sort, we would have no framework of comparison for our own policy, no chance of profiting by other people’s insights or mistakes. In this vacuum, we could form no judgements on our own actions. Indeed most of us would not willingly choose to live in, or live with the consequences of, a world in which all human actions were deemed to have moral equivalence. Social Work, Subjectivity and the Moral World 41 Our epistemological scepticism invariably results in the dominance of ideology, which Hunt (1978) argues flourishes in social work precisely because philosophy is largely absent from the consideration of substantive issues.

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Animals and Social Work: A Moral Introduction by Thomas Ryan (auth.)

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