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Reason, Value, and RespectKantian Themes from the Philosophy of Thomas E. Hill, Jr.$
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Mark Timmons and Robert N. Johnson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199699575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199699575.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021

But What About the Animals?

But What About the Animals?

(p.194) 10 But What About the Animals?
Reason, Value, and Respect

Cheshire Calhoun

Oxford University Press

Kant famously claimed that we have no direct duties to animals and that animals are things that (within limits) we may dispose of at will. Kantian moral philosophers have sometimes called this a repugnant moral doctrine. This chapter begins by distinguishing three ethical concerns one might have with respect to animals: taking into account animals’ interests, adopting a non-instrumentalist valuing attitude toward animals, and avoiding ingratitude, mockery, unfairness and the like. Utilitarianism is well designed to address only the first of the three ethical concerns. Drawing on Kant’s comments about the analogies between animals and humans, this chapter argues that there are good Kantian reasons for valuing animals, for not discounting their interests, and for not regarding them purely instrumentally. The chapter also argues that even if one is not obligated to respond to animals gratefully, fairly, respectfully, and the like, there is nevertheless a moral defect in not doing so.

Keywords:   animals (the ethical treatment of), indirect Duty, gratitude, Kant

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