Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Mark Rowlands, Are animals persons?


Mark Rowlands’s target article offers a lucid, systematic treatment of a notion of personhood that has had significant influence in philosophy. The orthodox interpretation of this notion of personhood has been that it requires cognitive capacities not possessed by animals. Rowlands disputes this. However, I think his objections to the orthodox, higher-order thought (HOT) theories of mental unity may be too quick. In this commentary, I show two separable places where Rowlands’s objection to HOT theories of mental unity falls short.

Author Biography

Alex Howe is a PhD student in the Philosophy Department at University of Missouri. He studies political philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of mind. His current research examines the idea of politically enfranchising domestic animals in the pluralistic, liberal democratic state.