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A Mirror of Myself? Monist and Dualist views of Animals

Libell, Monica LU (2005) In Animal Bioethics. Principles and Teaching methods
Abstract
Mankind has always used animals as the Other, to compare himself with them. Animals have provided the mirror in which mankind has defined himself . In their perceived similarities and dissimilarities with humans, he has distinguished the boundaries which separates him from the Other. Since antiquity, this relationship has been lively debated between at least two groups of interpreters. The "dualists" have contended that humans are unique and decidedly different from animals, whereas "monists" have argued that we are essentially the same, metaphysically and/or physiologically. Along with this ambiguous perception of animals, discussions concerning our moral relationship have followed. Dualists have often more or less dismissed human... (More)
Mankind has always used animals as the Other, to compare himself with them. Animals have provided the mirror in which mankind has defined himself . In their perceived similarities and dissimilarities with humans, he has distinguished the boundaries which separates him from the Other. Since antiquity, this relationship has been lively debated between at least two groups of interpreters. The "dualists" have contended that humans are unique and decidedly different from animals, whereas "monists" have argued that we are essentially the same, metaphysically and/or physiologically. Along with this ambiguous perception of animals, discussions concerning our moral relationship have followed. Dualists have often more or less dismissed human obligations to animals. Monists, on the other hand, have usually stressed our responsibilities. During the 19th century, the boundaries between these groups grew increasingly blurred as physiological evidence pointed to evolutionary similarities, indeed kinship. Monists_for instance, natural scientists_convinced about the evolutionary kinship between humans and animals, could emphasize a dualist ethical outlook. Similarly, dualists who based their beliefs on anthropocentric Christian thinking, nevertheless found themselves at times showing an unusual concern for animals due to civilizational or Christian demands. Only believers in a metaphysical unity, seem to have retained a monist worldview and ethics. Today, the issue still creates discussion. How similar are we to animals and how should these similarities inform our ethical conduct toward them? (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
history of animal ethics, animal ethics, bioethics
in
Animal Bioethics. Principles and Teaching methods
editor
Marie, M; Edwards, S; Gandini, G; Reiss, G and von Borell, E
publisher
Wageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN
9076998582
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5c34478c-2892-43da-9e80-bc7d7b19239a (old id 535374)
date added to LUP
2007-09-26 10:31:49
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:08:21
@misc{5c34478c-2892-43da-9e80-bc7d7b19239a,
  abstract     = {Mankind has always used animals as the Other, to compare himself with them. Animals have provided the mirror in which mankind has defined himself . In their perceived similarities and dissimilarities with humans, he has distinguished the boundaries which separates him from the Other. Since antiquity, this relationship has been lively debated between at least two groups of interpreters. The "dualists" have contended that humans are unique and decidedly different from animals, whereas "monists" have argued that we are essentially the same, metaphysically and/or physiologically. Along with this ambiguous perception of animals, discussions concerning our moral relationship have followed. Dualists have often more or less dismissed human obligations to animals. Monists, on the other hand, have usually stressed our responsibilities. During the 19th century, the boundaries between these groups grew increasingly blurred as physiological evidence pointed to evolutionary similarities, indeed kinship. Monists_for instance, natural scientists_convinced about the evolutionary kinship between humans and animals, could emphasize a dualist ethical outlook. Similarly, dualists who based their beliefs on anthropocentric Christian thinking, nevertheless found themselves at times showing an unusual concern for animals due to civilizational or Christian demands. Only believers in a metaphysical unity, seem to have retained a monist worldview and ethics. Today, the issue still creates discussion. How similar are we to animals and how should these similarities inform our ethical conduct toward them?},
  author       = {Libell, Monica},
  editor       = {Marie, M and Edwards, S and Gandini, G and Reiss, G and von Borell, E},
  isbn         = {9076998582},
  keyword      = {history of animal ethics,animal ethics,bioethics},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xae40a58)},
  series       = {Animal Bioethics. Principles and Teaching methods},
  title        = {A Mirror of Myself? Monist and Dualist views of Animals},
  year         = {2005},
}