StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Non-human Animals Can Be Agents of Morality - Essay Example

Free

Extract of sample
Non-human Animals Can Be Agents of Morality

From de Waal’s account, it is evident that animals especially chimpanzees can actually be moral agents. The basic concept in understanding the ability of animals to be moral agents is the evaluation of how human morality is distinguished from chimpanzee “morality”. De Waal envisages that human morality develops from the morality of our common ancestors. Morality emerges gradually, becoming more complex over time, but human morality is different in degree, not in kind, to the “morality” of other primates. Philip Kitcher, Christine Korsgaard, and Peter Singer in their book Philosophers and Primates opine that human morality is in some respects unique: it is different in kind. They suggest that morality is often a matter of overcoming our nature. Korsgaard maintains that “A form of life governed by principles and values is a very different thing from a form of life governed by instinct, desire, and emotion; even a very intelligent and sociable form of life governed by instinct, desire, and emotion. … We have ideas about what we ought to do and to be like and we are constantly trying to live up to them, apes do not live that way,” (Kitcher, Korsgaard & Singer, 2009, 117). She considers that morality requires a form of self-consciousness that allows us to inspect and assess our intentions. Correspondingly, Philip Kitcher asserts that “chimpanzees are … vulnerable to whichever impulse happens to be dominant at a particular moment,” (Sager, 2012, 4-8). Therefore, he hypothesizes that our ability

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

What duties, if any, do we have to non-human animals
What duties, if any, do we have to non-human animals? This paper will address what duties, if any, do we have to non-human animals? The main point it will tackle is that raised by the moral philosopher Peter Singer who asks: ‘is it right, for example to think that it is morally quite legitimate to eat non-human animals?
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Our treatment of non-human animals
The argument for equality among beings really isn't one for intelligence, moral capacity, physical strength or other criteria which cannot possibly be equal among species. It isn't even equal among the beings of the human group. There are many people who may be considered human only by virtue of having been born from human parents; certainly nothing else qualifies them.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Non-Human Animals
In Descartes' view, the urge to reason with everyone and almost at everything and the verbal communication are the characteristics that set humans separately from all other kinds. Using the belief of parsimony, wherein one always necessarily begins with the unpretentious details of pragmatic events, Descartes reasons that the perceived actions of all nonhuman living beings can be explained without crediting minds and understanding.
4 pages (1000 words) Term Paper
Indirect Theories and Moral Equality Theories on Kindness to Non-Human Animals
Name Class Instructor Date Indirect Theories and Moral Equality Theories on Kindness to Non-Human Animals According to Immanuel Kant, humans have duties to be kind to animals because these “duties towards animals…are indirect duties towards mankind” ( 64 ).
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Human and animals Cloning
(Dos, 441-442) It should be remembered that the history of cloning is a tedious and tiresome journey with ingenious methods applied. At the Roslyn Institute the successfully cloned a lamb but took 277 tries to finally clone it. Scientists working on the project knew all through their work in progress that once successful Cloning can be a very useful tool if used under the right conditions.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Ethics and Morality
During the painful and slow evolution of man's behaviour in the society, somehow, somewhere the need for an ethical code was felt and morality took root. The question still remains as to how we lost the pre-ethical condition and is it possible to go back to it.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Biological Basis of Morality (Animals)
Animals, on the other hand, are guided by ‘programmed behavior’ and trained methodologies. A trained animal has a higher level of grasping power and
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Different communication between human and animals
? some animals communicate through scents, for instance, something humans do not really do, or can communicate more through their physical posture than humans do. But humans are truly in a league of their own because of symbolic language – the idea that we can connect the
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Compare and contrast how skinner and Harlow have used non-human animals in behavioural research
Till the time of Watson, a famous psychologist, psychology was basically only based on the learning of what happens in one’s mind. People told the psychologists what was going on in their minds, the psychologists made notes of what they
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Non-Human Value
Preservation of natural forest has projected like a method to decrease biodiversity fatalities in the agricultural areas. In this context, butterflies and ants diversity in the forest are
1 pages (250 words) Essay
to use language gave rise to cultural evolution that moves morality beyond its biological roots, in some respects opposing it. According to de Waal, morality arises from the distinction between ultimate causes and proximate causes. Morality can lead to reproduction (kin selection) and reciprocal altruism: animals that engage in altruistic behavior may be more successful reproductively or in terms of obtaining beneficial cooperation from other animals. The ultimate cause is “self-interested” (Kitcher, Korsgaard & Singer, 2009, 136). However, the proximate cause may not be: that is, the immediate motivation of an animal that has evolved altruistic psychological capacities may be the best interest of other animals independently of their self-interest. In his paper titled “The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories,” Michael Stocker laments that modern ethical theories fail to provide the right sort of motivation for morality (Stocker, 1976). The central point in the article is that modern moral theories are particularly unsuited to deal with relationships of friendship and love because they impose external obligations that are actually self-defeating. De Waal endeavors to base morality on empathy and the social emotions. Many animals, including birds, display “emotional contagion” (De Waal, 2008, 282-83). They take on the emotional state of other animals nearby; consider babies who cry when they hear the cries of other babies. Empathy can give rise to sympathetic concern or personal distress. De Waal’s own research shows chimpanzees engaging in consolation, when chimpanzees comfort the loser of an aggressive encounter. This seems to require not only empathy, but also an ability to assess the other chimpanzee’s situation and react appropriately by providing comfort. Finally, there is “empathetic perspective-taking” in which animals enter the perspective of others and sometimes engage in “

Summary

Running head: Critical Essay Non-human Animals Can Be Agents of Morality Insert Name Insert Grade Course Insert 20 July 2012 It has been verified through a string of experiments and studies that non human animals can be moral agents (De Waal, 2008, 282-83)…
Author : bergeriver
Non-human Animals Can Be Agents of Morality essay example
Read Text Preview
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment