Essay on Duties Towards Animals By Immanuel Kant

882 Words Nov 10th, 2015 4 Pages
In his work titled, “Duties Towards Animals,” Immanuel Kant claims that, “our duties towards animals are merely indirect duties towards humanity” (Kant 564). He defends this position by defining animals not to be self conscious, as Kant only counts beings that are rational and autonomous in his principle of humanity. This principle states that all humans should always be treated as an end, and never merely as a means to achieve your own personal goals. Consequently, it prevents all unconscious beings, including animals, from possessing any rights. Kant goes onto point out that we have an obligation to have positive interactions with animals so that humans can practice their gracious behavior, and ultimately apply it to human interactions. This is asserted in contending that, “people who are kind to animals will be kind to humans” (Kant 564). “If then any acts of animals are analogous to human acts and spring from the same principles, we have duties towards animals because thus we cultivate the corresponding duties towards human beings” (Kant 564). This premise implies that laws regarding animals are only needed when they influence the well being of man kind. Moreover, it justifies potentially cruel acts towards animals if it ultimately benefits humans in the end, as “animals must be regarded as man’s instruments” (Kant 565). Kant further defends his argument by specifying that, “tender feelings towards dumb animals develop humane feelings towards man kind” (Kant 565). In…

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