Rene Decartes: Animal are machines

—-Decartes argues that the observed behaviors of all non human creatures can be explained with out ascribing minds and consciousness to them.

—- Humans have little responsibility to other animals or the natural world unless the treatment of them affects other humans.

—Humans have thoughts and more importantly they can express them through words, sounds or signs. Unlike animal who just have been taught expression or repeat a process because of the reward. They can express fear, hope, joy etc. but cannot verbalize them in any kind of way.

  • Example of this: " If you teach a magpie to say good day to its mistress, when its sees her approach, this can only be by making the utterance of this word the expression of one of its passions. For instance it will be an expression of the hope of eating, if it has always been given a tidbit when it says it."

Decartes emphasizes that even the dumbest or craziest human can say or show how they feel or express their thought but an animal never can do this.

Immanuel Kant: We have only indirect duties to animals

Kant argues that animals aren't persons b/c they aren't rational, self conscious beings capable of grasping the moral law. Since they're not part of the kingdom of moral legislators we do not owe them anything.

—We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.

—Animal nature has analogies to human nature, and by doing our duties to animals in respect of manifestations of human nature, we indirectly do our duty towards humanity.

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