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Can Animals Be Moral?$
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Mark Rowlands

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199842001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199842001.001.0001

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The Reflection Condition: Aristotle and Kant

The Reflection Condition: Aristotle and Kant

(p.99) 4 The Reflection Condition: Aristotle and Kant
Can Animals Be Moral?

Mark Rowlands

Oxford University Press

The influential work of Aristotle and Kant is examined in this chapter. Common to both is the idea that animals cannot act for moral reasons because to do so they would require the ability to reflect on their motivations and assess whether these motivations are good ones. The possibility of moral action requires the possibility of moral reflection. It is argued that this idea ultimately rests on an unexamined concept of control: to act morally requires control over one's motivations, and this is what moral reflection is supposed to provide. The argument of the contemporary philosopher Dixon is also examined—and is seen to comprise a combination of Aristotelian and Kantian elements.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Kant, reflection, control, Dixon, practical wisdom, Korsgaard

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