Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Mark Rowlands, Are animals persons?


Reluctance to overextend personhood seems to drive many of the skeptical responses in the first round of commentaries on Rowlands's target article. Despite Rowlands’s straightforward Response that we already accept some nonhumans as persons, there is still hesitation to accept that other nonhuman animals are persons. Rowlands's argument is sound but the skeptics don’t accept the Lockean notion of person. The metaphysical sense of person is a psychological one, however, and psychological properties grant one moral status according to many ethical theories.

Author Biography

Kristin Andrews studies folk psychology, moral psychology, and methodology in animal cognition. Author of Do Apes Read Minds? (MIT 2012) and The Animal Mind (Routledge 2015), Andrews is Member of the Executive Board of the Borneo Orangutan Society Canada.