Obligations to the Self and Obligations to Animals
My research project aims to provide a systematic reconstruction of Kantian animal ethics.
My claim is that Kant’s theory of indirect duties towards animals represents a compelling option for the justification of a coherent and rigorous animal ethics, the potential of which has not been fully appreciated yet.
Indirect duties towards animals are, for Kant, duties to oneself.
For the project to succeed, it is necessary to discuss a problem concerning the existence of duties to the self that is not adequately investigated in the contemporary debate: the role played in the concept of duty to the self by of the notion of the intrinsic value of the rational being, i.e., the notion of human dignity. Once the fundamentals of Kant´s argument for the indirect duties to animals are made explicit and it is made clear that they are not tied to Kant´s metaphysical presuppositions, it will be possible to prove the contemporary relevance of Kantian animal ethics.