A Confucian-Kantian Response to Environmental Eco-Centrism on Animal Equality

Stephen R PALMQUIST, Keith CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Environmental eco-centrism, the claim that all members of the biosphere are ontologically and axiologically equal, presents a challenge to traditional ethical conceptions of the special status of humanity. Confucian and Kantian ethics approach this topic, and its application to other animals, in different ways: Confucianism employs stories that promote insight into the importance of sincerity and compassion to all animals, including non-human ones; Kant employs abstract reasoning to argue that non-human animals deserve respect because we humans share their basic nature. We argue that, taken together, these two approaches preserve what is most important in eco-centrism, but without sacrificing human dignity in the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-238
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Chinese Philosophy
Volume43
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy

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