What We Owe to Nonhuman Animals - Gary Steiner

14.05.2024 16:45

Room 3C, Neues Institutsgebäude (NiG), 1010 Wien


Gary Steiner - Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Bucknell University, USA

In this talk, Professor Steiner will provide an overview of central themes from his recent book What We Owe to Nonhuman Animals: The Historical Pretensions of Reason and the Ideal of Felt Kinship (Routledge, 2023). Where the Western philosophical tradition has maintained that the idea of human superiority over all non-human beings is a product of the impartial employment of reason, Professor Steiner argues that in fact the tradition has used reason as a tool for rationalizing this prior commitment to human superiority over the nonhuman world. Where the tradition has claimed that reason operates independently of our embodied and affective (emotional) constitution, Professor Steiner argues for the mutual interplay of reason and emotion in the formation of moral commitments, and he further argues for the conclusion that a great many nonhuman animals have rich subjective lives that in essential respects place them on a par with human beings. Rather than seeking to preserve the historical status of human beings as what Kant called "the titular lords of nature," we ought to broaden considerably our conception of the moral community so as to include all sentient beings as full and direct beneficiaries of moral concern.

Snacks and drinks will be provided!

The talk will be in English.

If you have any questions, please contact Erich Linder (erich.linder@vetmeduni.ac.at).