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T. J. Kasperbauer

Subhuman

The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals

Oxford University Press 2018

New Books in PhilosophyNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in Science & Technology April 10, 2019 Carrie Figdor

Non-human animals are companions, research subjects, creatures we fear, creatures we eat. Why do we put other animals in the various categories we do,...

Non-human animals are companions, research subjects, creatures we fear, creatures we eat. Why do we put other animals in the various categories we do, and treat them in the various good and bad ways that we do? These are questions about human attitudes towards other animals, and the moral implications of those attitudes. In Subhuman: The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals (Oxford University Press, 2018), T. J. Kasperbauer examines this relatively underexplored area of moral psychology. Kasperbauer, who is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Bioethics and the Indiana University School of Medicine, argues that we dehumanize animals in a particular way to ensure their status as inferior outgroups, and that our ability to improve moral outcomes is limited by our psychology. But knowing what these psychological limits are is crucial for understanding how moral behavior towards animals can be improved.