Marking the Boundaries: Animals in Medieval Latin Philosophy

In Peter Adamson & Fey Edwards (eds.), Animals: A History. Oxford, UK: pp. 121-150 (2018)
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Abstract

The medieval reception of Aristotle’s theory of animals was rich and multifaceted and included reflection on his psychological theories but also, for instance, his claim that humans are “political animals.” A particular problem for the medievals was demarcating animals, that is, specifying the dividing line between animal and human. This is especially the case given the sophisticated capacities they ascribe to animals, while still retaining a hard and fast distinction between humans as rational and animals as irrational. Authors discussed in this chapter include Albert the Great, Peter Olivi, and Roger Bacon, who are examined for their psychological and metaphysical accounts of animals. It is also asked to what extent these theories affected moral evaluation of animals and what humans owe to them ethically speaking.

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Juhana Toivanen
University of Jyväskylä

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