Colin A. Chapman and Michael A. Huffman, Why do we want to think humans are different?


Animal rights philosophers have traditionally accepted the claim that human beings are unique, but rejected the claim that our uniqueness justifies denying animals moral rights. Humans were thought to be unique specifically because we possess moral agency. In this commentary, I explore the claim that some nonhuman animals are also moral agents, and I take note of its counter-intuitive implications.

Author Biography

Kyle Johannsen is an instructor in the philosophy department at Trent University. His areas of specialization are political philosophy and animal ethics, and he is particularly interested in questions about distributive justice and about wild animal suffering. Website