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Should Dolphins be Considered Persons - Essay Example

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Should Dolphins be Considered Persons

Personhood is connected with a variety of theoretical issues with the most significant being that persons get better treatment that nonpersons. Although the terms human and person are used interchangeably as synonyms on a daily basis, the two words have a different meaning form a philosophical perspective.The word human is a scientific concept with reference to members of the biological category Homo sapiens. On the other hand, the word person refers to a combination of complex traits by which we define intelligence, self-consciousness and freewill (White 2007).According to recent research by scientists, dolphins have proven to possess sophisticated nervous systems, as well as a high level of intellectual and emotional ability. This characteristic of the dolphins makes it unethical for human beings to cause them pain and use these creatures for a convenience whereas, there is another way to achieve the same result. Diana Reiss, who is a marine scientist, has defined dolphins as “alien intelligence.” Diana Reiss asserts that the dolphin species are perfect model for assisting humanity to formulate ways of describing and comprehending the intelligence of non-human species. Anthropocentrism has led humans to be subject to bias quintessentially while investigating other species.Dolphins have the most similarities with human beings than any other species. Firstly, dolphins are mammals that bear their off springs alive, take care of them by feeding them via their mammary glands, and they are warm-blooded and have hair. Physically, the dolphins resemble human beings to some extent especially the eyes, mouth and teeth. Although dolphins are aquatic inhabitants, they are engaging and share fundamental traits with human beings (White 2007). The behavior of dolphins shows they are intelligent animals with distinct personalities and self-sense. Diana Reiss, a marine scientist, showed that dolphins could recognize themselves on a mirror reflection and utilize it to inspect other body parts, as well. This ability has since the past been thought to be limited only to human beings. In addition, Diana Reiss found out that captive dolphins possessed the ability to learn an elementary language based on symbols. Some research has shown that dolphins are capable and do solve difficult problems. Dolphins in a wild environment show co-operation in various ways that involve multifaceted structures and a high level of emotional sophistication (White 2007). Dolphins perform fascinating well-organized movement that indicates a high level of intellect. They lead above the water surface in acrobatic figures. Although several researches have been conduct with respect to the movement of dolphins, scientists are not yet sure what the motive of their acrobatic movement is. Scientists have assumed that the movement maybe meant to locate fellow species by looking at above water waves. Communication could be another likely reason for their acrobatic movement to merge them together for hunting or dislodging parasites. Play is a vitalS characteristic of the dolphins, and they are spotted harassing other creatures such as seabirds and turtles in some instances. On frequent occasions, dolphins accompany boats and ride bow waves. Dolphins are interactive in nature as observed in their willingness to approach humans on several occasions and play with them in water. There have been reports of incidents where dolphins have provided protection to swimmers against sharks by swimming circles around them. This characteristic reveals the high intellectual capacity of the dolphins. The dolphins also communicate among themselves by use of clicks, ...Show more


Personhood is connected with a variety of theoretical issues with the most significant being that persons get better treatment that nonpersons. Although the terms human and person are used interchangeably as synonyms on a daily basis, the two words have a different meaning form a philosophical perspective…
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Should Dolphins be Considered Persons essay example
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