Author Website


Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Mark Rowlands, Are animals persons?


Mark Rowlands holds that creatures endowed with pre-reflective awareness may qualify as persons: In pre-reflective awareness, the self and the unity of mental life are implicit in the stream of experience. Rowlands generalizes from an introspective analysis of pre-reflective consciousness in humans to pre-reflective awareness in general. I describe three examples of empirical findings that corroborate the assumption that animal minds have some of the same basic modes of pre-reflective awareness as human minds.

Author Biography

Uta Maria Jürgens is a PhD candidate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. Her research is on human-wildlife relations, funded by Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung, while her further interests range from synaesthesia research to anthrozoology and the philosophy of mind.