Evolving Ethics and Animal Persons: York Circle with Prof Kristin Andrews

March 3, 2018 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am America/Toronto Timezone
Life Sciences Building
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

All welcome: Online Registration.

9am - 9:45am - Registration, Coffee and Light Snacks
9:45am - Opening Remarks
10-11am - Prof Andrews presentation
12:20-1pm - Complementary lunch
1pm - event ends

Humans are animals, so some animals are already considered to be persons. But not too long ago not all humans were even thought to be persons. Personhood is an ethical category of certain kinds of individuals who are agents and who matter, so being included as a person comes with certain benefits, such as rights to bodily determination, rights to freedom, and rights from interference with one's own interests. As science tells us more about other animals, the question arises whether we ought to include additional animals in the category of persons-- animals such as chimpanzees, elephants, dolphins, and ravens. Today, such animals are largely considered property, and do not enjoy the aforementioned rights. Should we change the status of some animals from property to persons? What justifies including some and excluding others? Given the ethical implications of inclusion and exclusion, careful consideration of these questions is a contemporary moral imperative.

Speaker: Kristin Andrews - York Research Chair in Animal Minds and Associate Professor of Philosophy

Kristin Andrews is York Research Chair in Animal Minds and Associate Professor of Philosophy at York University. In her three books and numerous articles, Andrews works on developing a better understanding of the continuities between humans and other animals when it comes to sociality and morality, and she takes a critical lens to methodology in animal cognition research. Andrews has an ongoing collaboration with York psychologist Dr. Anne Russon on orangutan pantomime communication. In addition to her academic duties, she serves as a member of the Executive Board for The Borneo Orangutan Society Canada, which has the mission to promote conservation of orangutans and their habitat, and to educate the public.

Professor Andrew's presentation is part of a full York Circle event. We invite you to attend the other sessions as well. Get all the details here.