Ethical Concern about 'The Animal Soul' through the Activity of Imagination: A Phenomenological Approach

Date

2019

Authors

Gracy, Lance H.

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Abstract

Taking as my starting point that any objects of ethical concern must demonstrate some ethical property, I set to demonstrate the ethical property of 'the animal soul' as exhibited in the relationship between human and non-human animals through the activity of imagination. In doing so, I first explore two competing doctrines in the relationship between human and non-human animals: the metaleptical view and the mythical view, which demonstrate how the animal soul is worthy of ethical concern. I then go on to propose a renewed ethical theory, or what I term "imaginative care ethics of 'the animal soul'," which defends the concept that the animal soul is worthy of ethical concern in a two-fold way: in one aspect, the relationship between human and non-human animals is importantly related to experiences of happiness or suffering, the human's or non-human animals' alike; and in another aspect, the relationship between human and non-human animals is of both high instrumental value and intrinsic value, thus a worthy object of ethical concern in itself. With regard to the activity of imagination as a proper object related to demonstrating ethical concern, I demonstrate that (1) it is the bridge for forming ethical concern about the relationship between human and non-human animals, and (2) an understanding of it is necessary for us to understand why certain common ethical concerns about human beings are applicable to non-human animals.

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Keywords

activity of imagination, ethical theory, metaleptic, phenomenology, the animal soul

Citation

Department

Philosophy