Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (2):275-288 (2019)

Kant claims that animal suffering only matters if it affects us indirectly by making us more callous toward other persons. This seems inconsistent with Kant’s formal moral theory, and it seems to entail that we are morally better off if we remain willfully ignorant of animal suffering. In defense of Kant’s indirect view, I explain how psychological facts should play a role in the application of the categorical imperative. I then give three responses to the objection that Kant encourages willful ignorance. First, supporting practices of animal exploitation facilitates a system that harms workers. Second, moral ignorance as a habit of mind makes us more likely to ignore morally relevant harm to other persons. Third, remaining intentionally ignorant is not in keeping with our capacity for intellectual self-determination.
Keywords Kant  animal suffering  animal welfare  violence graduation hypothesis  indirect duties  anthropocentrism  speciesism  human dignity  meat eating  vegetarianism
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-018-9667-4
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References found in this work BETA

Not for Humans Only. The Place of Nonhumans in Environmental Ethics.P. Singer - forthcoming - Environmental Ethics. An Anthology.
Kant on Duties Regarding Nonrational Nature.Allen W. Wood - 1998 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):189–210.
Intrinsic Value in Nature: A Metaethical Analysis.J. Baird Callicott - 1995 - Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (5).
Kant on the Ethics of Belief.Alix Cohen - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):317-334.
Duties Regarding Animals.Patrick Kain - 2010 - In Lara Denis (ed.), Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 210--233.

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