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

Stephen R. Palmquist, Keith Ka-Fu Chan

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    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
    Early online date3 Mar 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Philosophy

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