Kant 's Treatment Of Animals

939 WordsApr 5, 20164 Pages
Humans and all other animals are alike in many ways, but due to some very distinct differences, humans and animals should have some of the same rights but realistically cannot be treated equal. Classifying these differences can be difficult, but the research and finding of Immanuel Kant helps us better understand the major differences. Kant makes the distinction between humans and what he calls “mere animals.” He believes we are animals, but not just merely animals and he is very clear to make the distinction between mere animals and inanimate objects. In Holly L. Wilson’s article entitled The Green Kant: Kant’s Treatment of Animals, she quotes Immanuel Kant saying, “Animals are no mere machines or just matter, for they do have souls, and they do so because everything in nature is either inanimate or animate (Wilson 63).” Although animals are animate, we should still hold them to different standards than humans. Kant helps us understand this by breaking it down into four major differences. Humans can act under a moral code, meaning we have a moral framework that helps us know right from wrong and allows us to make thoughtful decisions. Mere animals do not have this same moral framework. An animal’s only goal is to survive. Kant makes the argument that humans are not ends-in-ourselves, but our moral law gives us a sense of status of being ends-in-ourselves (Wilson 64). He is showing that this morality is what is putting us ahead of animals. The second distinction is the
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