Critical Thinking – PHIL 110
Kant-No Duties to Animals
Animals have been around for just as long as humans have and some believe that neither one is above the other. In Kant’s essay “No Duties to Animals” he argues that humans have first and foremost a duty to anyone from their same “membership”. All humans belong to the human race membership and in no way may abdicate the position. And so a human must enforce direct duties towards other humans and only indirect duties towards animals. However, he states that all members should “practice kindness towards animals” because it will therefore mirror the way that they treat an interrelated member. Many people would argue that the direct duties are equivalent between both, but that is not the case according to Kant. In this paper I will argue that humans do only have direct duties towards other humans and only hold indirect duties towards animals. I have provided an introduction of the philosophical problem in the first section of this paper and I will continue by providing a detailed reconstruction of Kant’s argument on human’s indirect duties towards animals in the second section. In the third section I evaluate the argument and give my ideas, thoughts, and any possible objections about Kant’s essay “No Duties to Animals”. I continue by adjudicating the two in the fourth section of this paper and show why the previously stated objections are insufficient reasons to deny the truth of the article’s conclusion. And finally the fifth section of the paper restates, as well as sums up, the argument of the paper and serves as a conclusion.
Kant’s thesis for this paper is that we only have direct duties to those entities that are self-conscious and are “ends-in-themselves”. “Ends-in-themselves” refers to humans, ergo stating that those are the only entities we hold direct duties towards. The rendition of direct duties is duties that come before and above any other...