Christine Korsgaard, Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the Other Animals [Book Review]

Environmental Values 28 (6):763-765 (2019)
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Immanuel Kant infamously denies that non-rational entities--a class that includes all non-human animals (hereafter “animals”)--have moral standing. He claims that human beings have only indirect duties with regard to animals. Roughly put, on his view we can have moral reasons to treat animals in certain ways, but these reasons depend entirely on duties we owe to ourselves and other human beings. Arguably because of this stance, most animal ethicists have had little use for Kant. Christine Korsgaard’s most recent book, Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the Other Animals, aims to show that Kant’s moral philosophy provides compelling grounds for recognizing direct duties to animals, contrary to what Kant himself and his critics believe.

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Toby Svoboda
Colgate University

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