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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article attempts to broaden the scope of Levinas’s ethics beyond the narrow anthropocentric limits that Levinas himself set for it. It adopts a highly naturalistic approach that relies essentially on the Darwinian view that there is no single, definitive line between humans and animals. It argues that the logic of Levinas’s own arguments concerning the absolute alterity of the Other should have led him to construe the requirements for moral consideration more broadly to include not just human beings but certain nonhuman animals. The argument is not intended to apply to all animals, but only to those that have the capacity to suffer and to express that suffering by way of what Levinas calls “the face.”

Keywords: anthropocentrism, animals, sentient, face, evolution

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