Philosophy Talk asks about the moral lives of animals | KALW

Philosophy Talk asks about the moral lives of animals

May 27, 2016

If a lion did a good deed, how would we know? Can animals ever act for moral reasons?


From Aristotle and Kant to Hume and Darwin, philosophers and scientists have long denied the idea that animals are capable of acting for moral reasons. Yet empirical evidence suggests that many animals have rich emotional lives, and some even demonstrate distinctly altruistic or empathetic behavior. So how should we interpret this behavior? Do the moral feelings of animals suggest they are capable of responding to moral reasons? Or do they lack the cognitive capacity necessary for being truly moral? John and Ken examine their animal nature with Mark Rowlands from the University of Miami, author of Can Animals Be Moral? Sunday 5/29 at 10 am and Tuesday 5/31 at 12 noon.