Animals and Social Welfare

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Duke’s Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy will be hosting a conference on “Animals and Social Welfare.”

November 1-2, 2019
Duke Law School
Room 4000

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, November 1, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 2. The conference schedule, with session times and paper titles, will be posted here when available.

The focus of the conference is how animal well-being should be incorporated into the normative frameworks of welfare economics. The standard frameworks (namely cost-benefit analysis and social welfare functions) focus exclusively on the well-being (usually, the preferences) of human persons. However, it is increasingly recognized by philosophers, and in wider social discourse, that non-human animals (or at least a subset thereof) also have ethical standing.

Conference participants include leading researchers from philosophy and economics. A current participant list may be found here.

Duke faculty, staff, and graduate or professional students are welcome to attend all or part of the conference, as are those with an academic affiliation elsewhere. Those interested in attending, or with administrative questions, should contact Isabel Fox at For questions about the content of the conference, please contact Matthew Adler at