Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, - download pdf or read online

By Gary Steiner

ISBN-10: 023114234X

ISBN-13: 9780231142342

Gary Steiner argues that ethologists and philosophers within the analytic and continental traditions have mostly did not enhance an enough rationalization of animal habit. significantly enticing the positions of Marc Hauser, Daniel Dennett, Donald Davidson, John Searle, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, between others, Steiner indicates how the Western philosophical culture has pressured animals into human experiential different types so one can make experience in their cognitive skills and ethical prestige and the way desperately we'd like a brand new method of animal rights.

Steiner rejects the conventional assumption loss of formal rationality confers an inferior ethical prestige on animals vis-à-vis humans. in its place, he bargains an associationist view of animal cognition during which animals grab and adapt to their environments with no using techniques or intentionality. Steiner demanding situations the normal assumption of liberal individualism in keeping with which people haven't any tasks of justice towards animals. as an alternative, he advocates a "cosmic holism" that attributes an ethical prestige to animals resembling that of individuals. Arguing for a courting of justice among people and nature, Steiner emphasizes our kinship with animals and the basic ethical responsibilities entailed through this kinship.

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Extra resources for Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, and Kinship

Example text

The honey guide has a plan, and it can carry out this plan over a long distance and a good stretch of time. It has conscious intentions and acts in accordance with these intentions by employing knowledge that it has acquired about, among other things, the tendencies and behavior of human beings. One might even go so far as to say that the honey guide communicates with human beings by emitting its churring sounds, and (according to some reports) that human beings communicate with the honey guides along the way by whistling and banging on trees as they follow the birds.

The plover may emit loud squawks while exhibiting this behavior to attract the intruder’s attention. Once the intruder has followed the plover away from the nest—often hundreds of meters—the plover takes off and returns to the nest and its young, leaving the potential predator far away. The case of the plover, like that of the honey guide, involves luring behavior; but unlike the the honey guide the plover appears to be engaging in deliberate deception. From the standpoint of human experience, deception is a sophisticated form of conduct that requires not only the ability to have beliefs and desires but also the ability to distinguish between truth and falsity and the capacity to induce another agent to believe something that is false—in other words, to conceal from another agent one’s true intentions.

It seems particularly appropriate in cases of deception. How, otherwise, would we explain the behavior of my friend’s border collie, Chelsea, who often lures the other dogs in the house away from the favored spot on the bed by barking and running toward the back door, behaving in the same manner as when she hears a potential intruder outside? When the other dogs run to the back door, my friend opens the door and all the dogs except Chelsea run outside to check for an intruder, at which point Chelsea bolts back to the bedroom and takes up the favored spot on the bed.

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Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, and Kinship by Gary Steiner


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