top of page

Is it necessary for a being to have reason in order to enjoy rights? Gary Steiner

In recent decades, the moral status of animals has been at the center of intense philosophical dialogue, which focuses, among other things, on the possibility of having these rights .

Is it necessary for a being to have reason in order to enjoy rights?

This question is to be answered by an internationally renowned philosopher in the field of continental philosophy, moral status and animal ethics, Professor Gary Steiner , who responded to the call of the newly established postgraduate program, (DPMS) Animals: Ethics, D Evzia , of the Athens School of Philosophy, by the Professor and Director of the department Mr. Evangelos Protopapadakis.

One of the most important personalities in the field, he has collaborated with Gary Francione, Tom Regan, and PeterSinger. He is a profound connoisseur of ancient Greek philosophy, a good friend of Greece, one of the world's most expert in animal philosophy and ethics, holder of the John Howard Harris Chair of Philosophy at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Professor Gary Steiner, will hold open online speech Wednesday, 16.12.2020 at 17:00 with connectivity to all who want to attend. In his presentation, he will analyze a series of issues related to the position that humanity and culture should have towards the animal kingdom, raising the issue of the definition of their rights.

To watch the speech you will follow the link of the EKPA course "Ethics and Animals":

The Diidrymatiko Postgraduate Program (IPP) Animals: Ethics, Law, Welfare , organized by the Department of Philosophy, University of Athens and the Greek Pasteur Institute with the support of the Laboratory of Philosophy Applied University of Athens and Research Institutes The Animals and Society Institute (ASI) and Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy of the Scientific Society The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and was founded this year.

The opportunity is given to the whole world to attend this seminar by one of the most remarkable and modern philosophers.

The postgraduate program also includes lectures by Gary Francione , Steven Best , Peter Singer and many other distinguished moral and legal philosophers.

Gary Steiner

The pre-Socratic philosopher Xenophanes said that "if cattle and lions had hands or could paint with their hands and do works that humans can do, horses would paint horses for their gods and cows would paint cows for their goddesses and would make their body as they are.

"The fact that the Greeks depicted their gods as similarities to humans reveals their anthropocentrism, the view that human beings are primary and central to the order of things."

Western philosophers perceive the human condition as a middle ground between animal nature and holiness, and argue that of all earthly beings, they are closest to the gods. This prejudice persists even in Kant's cosmopolitanism, in which human beings stand alone among earthly beings, capable of perfecting their natures and attaining the status of "lord of nature." Standing in close proximity to the gods allows human beings to act as rulers over animals as well as other beings.

To question the representations of our gods means to question our privileged position as rulers of nature. This challenge forces us to re-evaluate our sense of self and, in turn, our sense of animals.

Xenophanes' example illustrates the tendency throughout the history of Western philosophy to recognize the limits of old perceptions of ourselves and animals and to seek new perceptions that adequately reflect human experience as well as that of animals. Thinkers like Xenophanes are a challenge to supporters of anthropocentrism. Even when we perceive the world as theocentric, as it focuses on a god or gods and not on man, the fact that we portray the gods in human form shows the influence of anthropocentric thought. A theocentric worldview is compatible with a theocentric view that animals are inferior to humans in the cosmic order.

In fact, many anthropocentric thinkers explicitly claim that the gods created animals for the benefit of humans. Anthropocentric arguments have long influenced animal thinking in the history of Western philosophy. These arguments have their roots in Aristotle, and especially in the thought of the Stoics, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Descartes and Kant.

These philosophical views about animals are linked to an underlying logic: that all human beings deserve moral attention, because all human beings are rational and gifted with language. Only such beings are capable of genuine self-determination and moral obligation, and they are moral beings in the fullest and most authentic sense. As irrational beings, animals receive less moral examination than humans and sometimes even zero. In addition to this dominant view in the history of Western philosophy, there are several heterodox thinkers who seek to justify the moral status of animals. But in most cases, philosophers will recognize the basic continuity or affinity between humans and animals, only to conclude that human beings, however,

The anthropocentric perceptions of animals and their moral condition are beginning to play an important role in the history of Western philosophy. The influence of these assessments diminishes the strength of the arguments put forward on behalf of animals. At the same time, heterodox philosophers continued to express themselves in the midst of a predominantly anthropocentric tradition.

Translation from introduction Anthropocentrism and its discontents

The Moral Status of Animals in the History of Western Philosophy

You can read more about Professor Gary Steiner here:

38 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Kommentar

Agni Ply
Agni Ply
16. Apr. 2022

hi.. I read your blog which is really informative and scary for me. Thanks for sharing. We are Shuttering Ply Manufacturers in India you can get here best products.

Gefällt mir
bottom of page