Non‐Human Animals, Humanity, and the Kingdom of Ends

Richard Dean

in The Value of Humanity in Kant's Moral Theory

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199285723
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603938 | DOI:
 Non‐Human Animals, Humanity, and the Kingdom of Ends

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A strategy developed by Thomas E. Hill Jr. — that of using the kingdom of ends as a moral constructivist device for deliberating about specific moral questions — is adopted as a further interpretive tool for moving from the basic humanity formulation to particular duties. But unlike Hill, it is emphasized that this use of the kingdom of ends presupposes that to be an end in oneself, or a deliberator in the kingdom of ends, one must be committed to morality. As an example of a specific moral issue, the moral status of non-human animals is considered. The examination of animals’ moral status shows that although the good will reading of the humanity formulation may seem extreme, it can lead to moderate conclusions about specific moral issues. It is also suggested that the emphasis on a distinction between direct and indirect duties is an oversimplification of a Kantian view of animals’ moral status.

Keywords: animals; direct duties; indirect duties; Thomas E. Hill Jr; kingdom of ends; moral constructivism

Chapter.  10485 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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