Human Animals and Non-Human Persons

Sarah Chan, John Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article starts with the assumption that the term “person” in the everyday sense is generally taken to be synonymous with the term “human”. Philosophers tend to use the word “person” in the more abstract sense of entities as someone who possess a particular moral status and about whom particular moral claims may be made on the basis of that status. This article considers whether a nonhuman animal or any other entity could, under certain specifiable conditions, be a person. It approaches this subject through personhood theory and asks why certain attributes are thought so important to being a person. It then asks what this account requires of nonhuman animals in order to be deemed persons. It also explores the implications of nonhuman animal personhood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics
EditorsTom L. Beauchamp, R. G. Frey
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


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