NTM International Journal of History & Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology & Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 103-118

First online:

Tierseele und tierethische Argumentationen in der deutschen philosophischen Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts

  • Hans Werner IngensiepAffiliated withKulturwissenschaftliches Institut

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The existence of an animal soul and problems of animal ethics are often discussed in the German philosophical literature of the 18th century, especially in response to the cartesian theory of the beast machine. The following paper presents firstly a view into the early discussions and doctrines about animal souls (e.g., Winkler, Meier). It unfolds secondly some strategies for the legitimation of the death of animals, including contemporary concepts of soul, mainly under the influence of Leibniz. The third part examines some fundamental concepts of obligations to animals within the discussion of natural rights (e.g., Thomasius, Kant). Finally, examples for the early considerations about animal rights (Dietler, Smith) are presented.