It is orthodox to suppose that very few, if any, nonhuman animals are persons. The category “person” is restricted to self-aware creatures: humans (above a certain age) and possibly some of the great apes and cetaceans. I argue that this orthodoxy should be rejected, because it rests on a mistaken conception of the kind of self-awareness relevant to personhood. Replacing this with a sense of self-awareness that is relevant requires us to accept that personhood is much more widely distributed through the animal kingdom.

Author Biography

Mark Rowlands is Professor of Philosophy at University of Miami. He studies the philosophy of mind, ethics and moral psychology. Mark has written 18 books, including Animal Rights (Macmillan 1998), The Environmental Crisis (Macmillan, 2000), Animals Like Us (Verso, 2002), The Philosopher and the Wolf (Granta, 2008), and Can Animals be Moral? (Oxford, 2012). http://www.as.miami.edu/phi/people/





Article Thread

Rowlands, Mark (2016) Are animals persons?. Animal Sentience 10(1)

Woodruff, Michael L. (2016) Implicit mental processes are an improbable basis for personhood. Animal Sentience 10(2)

Brakel, Linda A.W. (2016) Animals are agents. Animal Sentience 10(3)

Cheng, Tony (2016) Why animals are persons. Animal Sentience 10(4)

Broude, Gwen J. (2016) Who is a person? Whoever you want it to be. Animal Sentience 10(5)

Jürgens, Uta M. (2016) Universal modes of awareness? A “pre-reflective” premise. Animal Sentience 10(6)

Monsó, Susana (2016) The moral dimension of pre-reflective self-awareness. Animal Sentience 10(7)

Rollin, Bernard E. (2016) Unity of consciousness in animals. Animal Sentience 10(8)

Benz-Schwarzburg, Judith (2016) What do we owe animals as persons?. Animal Sentience 10(9)

Benz-Schwarzburg, Judith (2016) From thinking selves to social selves. Animal Sentience 10(10)

Irvine, Leslie (2016) The person and the self as social accomplishment. Animal Sentience 10(11)

King, James E. (2016) Animal personhood is an evolutionary issue. Animal Sentience 10(12)

Benvenuti, Anne (2016) Evolutionary continuity of personhood. Animal Sentience 10(13)

Rowlands, Mark (2016) Consciousness and the unity of mind. Animal Sentience 10(14)

Howe, Alex (2016) “HOT” so fast. Animal Sentience 10(15)

Barone, Pamela and Gomila, Antoni (2016) In what sense are you a person?. Animal Sentience 10(16)

Andrews, Kristin (2016) The psychological concept of “person”. Animal Sentience 10(17)

Gennaro, Rocco J. (2016) Unconscious higher-order thoughts (HOTs) as pre-reflective self-awareness?. Animal Sentience 10(18)

Steward, Helen (2016) Animals aren’t persons, but is it time for a neologism?. Animal Sentience 10(19)