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What's controversial about moral animals?
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Religious Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8611-2649
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In spite of humanimal studies demonstrating apes-other-than-human as empathetic (disregarding family bonds), rules of dogs’ play, and even, so far at an anecdotal level, chimpanzees in awe, animals-other-than-human still must bear the prefix of ‘proto’ when descriptors as ‘moral’ or ‘religious’ are used. I hypothesize that this hesitant terminology is due to a still lingering residue of the notion of a uniquely human moral experience or thought described within ethical theory as ‘deontic’. Deontological ethics is usually associated with the strictly reason-based and anthropocentrical ethical theory of Immanuel Kant and his contemporary followers. By a uniquely human ability of reason, people may realize the moral necessity (called deontic) of cherishing people as intrinsically valuable in themselves. Contemporary care-ethicists, as Nel Noddings, categorically resist Kantian principalism, but still position themselves as deontologists. Care, closely related to empathy, is argued to be the source of deontic insight. Indeed, the affective aspect of care seems to be modeled as the point from which to start when enlarging one’s moral universe beyond family (genetical) bonds. Do the present empirical results and models of humanimal ‘proto’-moral behavior allow theorizing on the relation between humanimal empathy and deontic insight, and thus suggest a genuinely moral humanimal?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Ethics
Research subject
Culture, Identity and Representations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13355OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-13355DiVA: diva2:667885
Conference
Affective Animals, Joensuu, Finland 14-15 November 2013
Note

I programmet: Animals as potentially moral subjects

Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2015-12-07Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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