Harvard Review of Philosophy Annual Lecture: Dale Jamieson (NYU)


Monday, March 5, 2018, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


Emerson 305
Dale Jamieson (NYU) will present the annual Harvard Review of Philosophy Lecture on Monday, March 5th in Emerson Hall Room 305. A reception in Robbins Library will follow.

Abstract:  It is now widely accepted that humans and non-humans are continuous with respect to sentience and other properties that may be regarded as sufficient for moral concern. To suppose otherwise is sometimes derided as requiring Homo Sapiens to have a moral immaculate conception that is scarcely believable. Yet, the idea that agency appeared in Homo Sapiens by something like immaculate conception still seems to be a prevailing view. Many of those who endorse strong continuity views with respect to sentience seem to think that humans are unique with respect to agency. In this lecture I will distinguish several conceptions of agency and their moral relevance, and argue that on the most usable conceptions, continuity prevails in this domain as well. As a result, the problems of animal ethics are even more intellectually challenging and practically urgent than we might have thought.