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Being Conscious of Marc Bekoff: Thinking of Animal Self-Consciousness

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Abstract:

Abstract

The preceding article by Marc Bekoff reveals much about our current understanding of animal self-consciousness and its implications. It also reveals how much more there is to be said and considered. This response briefly examines animal self-consciousness from scientific, moral, and theological perspectives. As Bekoff emphasizes, self-consciousness is not one thing but many. Consequently, our moral relationship to animals is not simply one based on a graded hierarchy of abilities. Furthermore, the complexity of animal self-awareness can serve as stimulus for thinking about issues of theodicy and soteriology in a broader sense.

Keywords: Marc Bekoff; animal rights; animal self-consciousness; theology of nature

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9744.00498

Affiliations: 1Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at South Dakota State University.   greg_peterson@sdstate.edu.

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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