Nouvelle publication de F. Jaquet : « Speciesism and Tribalism: Embarrassing Origins »

Francois Jaquet signe un article intitulé « Speciesism and Tribalism: Embarrassing Origins » dans la revue Philosophical studies (2021).

Version pré-publication | publiée


Animal ethicists have been debating the morality of speciesism for over forty years. Despite rather persuasive arguments against this form of discrimination, many philosophers continue to assign humans a higher moral status than nonhuman animals. The primary source of evidence for this position is our intuition that humans’ interests matter more than the similar interests of other animals. And it must be acknowledged that this intuition is both powerful and widespread. But should we trust it for all that? The present paper defends a negative answer to that question, based on a debunking argument. The intuitive belief that humans matter more than other animals is unjustified because it results from an epistemically defective process. It is largely shaped by tribalism, our tendency to favor ingroup members as opposed to outgroup members. And this influence is distortive for two reasons. First, tribalism evolved for reasons unrelated to moral truths; hence, it would at best produce true moral beliefs accidentally. Second, tribalism generates a vast quantity of false moral beliefs, starting with racist beliefs. Once this intuition is discarded, little evidence remains that speciesism is morally acceptable.