Interacting with Animals

Christine M. Korsgaard

in The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195371963
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Interacting with Animals

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This article discusses a theory that has often been called deontological, but now is increasingly called Kantian because of its origins in the theory of Immanuel Kant. It starts with a characterization of two ways in which differences between human beings and nonhuman animals might be drawn in moral theory: thinking about what is good and thinking about right and obligation. Two general types of argument have therefore been used by philosophers in their attempts either to justify or criticize our uses of animal. This article argues that since animals cannot give consent, we should adopt the norm that we should “interact” with other animals in ways that are mutually beneficial and fair, and allow them to live something reasonably like their own sort of life. It is also implausible, this argument states, to hypothesize that an animal would consent to painful scientific experimentation.

Keywords: Kantian theory; human beings; consent; scientific experimentation; animal interaction

Article.  16771 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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