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


I qualify two criticisms made by commentators on Chapman & Huffman’s target article. Responding to the view that differences between humans and other animals are irrelevant to deciding how we should treat other species, I point out that differences between any species in their capacity to suffer are morally relevant. And in response to the claim that suffering is the sole criterion for the moral treatment of animals, I argue that cognitive complexity and a capacity for empathy also have moral relevance to the extent that they influence suffering.

Author Biography

John Lazarus was Reader in Animal Behaviour and, following retirement, is Associate Researcher at Newcastle University. His research has largely focussed on problems in social evolution, and is currently concerned with the conceptual and policy aspects of cooperation. Website