Animal Rights - Kant

1785: Kant

Animals ... are there merely as a means to an end. That end is man. — Immanuel Kant[23]

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), following Locke, opposed the idea that humans have duties toward non-humans. For Kant, cruelty to animals was wrong solely on the grounds that it was bad for humankind. He argued in 1785 that humans have duties only toward other humans, and that "cruelty to animals is contrary to man's duty to himself, because it deadens in him the feeling of sympathy for their sufferings, and thus a natural tendency that is very useful to morality in relation to other humans is weakened."[24]

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