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Can Animals Be Persons?$
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Mark Rowlands

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846039.001.0001

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Animals as Persons and Why It Matters

Animals as Persons and Why It Matters

(p.194) 11 Animals as Persons and Why It Matters
Can Animals Be Persons?

Mark Rowlands

Oxford University Press

This book has been a protracted case in worst-case scenario philosophy. Assume the absolute worst about animals, and the most stringent conception of a person imaginable, and then argue that animals still qualify as persons. Some of the limitations of this strategy are identified. If animals are persons, it changes the way we think about our obligations to them. The principal change is from a treatment paradigm to a listening paradigm. In a treatment paradigm, the primary question is how we should treat them. This is an inadequate way of understanding our obligations to persons. For persons, prior to the question of how we should treat them is the necessity of listening to them: of learning to ask them the right questions and make ourselves capable of understanding their response.

Keywords:   listening, moral obligation, persons, philosophy, treatment

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