Animal as concept: Bayle's “rorarius”
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Bayle's article on Rorarius, author of a work purporting to demonstrate that animals reason better than humans, describes and rejects all but one of the current opinions concerning the souls of animals. That survivor is Leibniz's theory of monads, but Bayle cannot accept pre-established harmony, and so Leibniz goes by the wayside too. Bayle exhibits clearly the consequences of Cartesianism for attempts to distinguish us from the animals. The alternatives are reduced to two: either we do not have an immortal soul, or animals do. Both are untenable on moral grounds. The result for Bayle is that no opinion on animal souls can be stably maintained.
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