Personhood and Animals

Environmental Ethics 30 (2):175-193 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A common Western assumption is that animals cannot be persons. Even in animal ethics, the concept of personhood is often avoided. At the same time, many in cognitive ethology argue that animals do have minds, and that animal ethics presents convincing arguments supporting the individual value of animals. Although “animal personhood” may seem to be an absurd notion, more attention needs to placed on the reasons why animals can or cannot be included in the category of persons. Of three different approaches to personhood—the perfectionist approach, the humanistic approach, and the interactive approach—the third approach is the strongest. Personhood defined via interaction opens new doors for animal ethics.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,273

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The failure of theories of personhood.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1999 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 9 (4):309-324.
Animal ethics and interest conflicts.Elisa Aaltola - 2005 - Ethics and the Environment 10 (1):19-48.
Animals and Sociology.Kay Peggs - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
The use of animals in medical education and research.Donnie J. Self - 1989 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 10 (1).
Persons, signs, animals: A Peircean account of personhood.Robert Lane - 2009 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (1):pp. 1-26.
Animal Ethics: Toward an Ethics of Responsiveness.Kelly Oliver - 2010 - Research in Phenomenology 40 (2):267-280.
Without a tear: our tragic relationship with animals.Mark H. Bernstein - 2004 - Urbana: University of Illinois Press.


Added to PP

222 (#73,321)

6 months
20 (#91,800)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

The Relevance (and Irrelevance) of Questions of Personhood (and Mindedness) to the Abortion Debate.David Kyle Johnson - 2019 - Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1 (2):121‒53.
How to do Animal Ethics.Tony Lynch & Lesley McLean - 2016 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (4):597-606.
Artificial Thinkers and Cognitive Architecture.Živan Lazović & Mirjana Sokić - 2023 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 36 (1):49-66.

Add more citations