Human Exceptionalism

Straw Man Human Exceptionalism

Oh good grief. A book reviewer named Justin Moss, discussing a book called Ethics and Animals, completely misstates the definition of human exceptionalism. From the Metapsychology blog:

In the first chapter, Gruen identifies and analyzes a philosophical view she refers to as “human exceptionalism” — the view that human beings are the only beings deserving of ethical concern, and that humans have no ethical responsibilities to non-human animals.

What garbage.  Human exceptionalism actually holds quite the opposite, that animals are of ethical concern and that we–as the only duties-bearing creatures in the known universe–have very serious ethical responsibilities toward animals.  Hence, animal welfare laws.  Hello?

I don’t know if this particular straw man was erected by the author or the reviewer.  But knocking one down takes no talent whatsoever.


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