Ethics and Human-Animal Studies
Over the last years, Human-Animal Studies have become a diverse research field. Philosophers contribute to the debates by means of conceptual analysis and clarification or through applied and practice-oriented argumentation. In our topic of study, human-animal interactions, there is a high demand for philosophical reflection, both in an academic and a societal and political context, as the human-animal relationship is changing.
For instance, what ethical implications follow from the close cognitive and emotional kinship between human and non-human animals that scientists have uncovered? Which forms and degrees of animal instrumentalization are morally impermissible and which are not? Which normative questions arise from the increasing use of high-tech in veterinary medicine, and how can veterinarians weigh the interests of human clients and animal patients? How should concepts of vulnerability, of disease and health, of cognition and consciousness be understood in the light of new scientific and philosophical research? What is the impact of digitization on humans and animals in farming contexts? What are the new concerns surrounding meat-eating, zoos, representations of animals in the media, animal experimentation, or wildlife tourism?
Our research tries to identify the limits of classical philosophical theories and to develop new concepts and theories to provide answers to these and similar questions. This requires the identification and description of problem areas as well as a mapping of their complexity and interconnectedness. Welcome to an exciting and challenging research field!