more from Gottfried Leibniz

Single Idea 5026

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / a. Preconditions for ethics]

Full Idea

It is for lack of reflection on themselves that beasts have no moral qualities.

Gist of Idea

Animals lack morality because they lack self-reflection


Gottfried Leibniz (Discourse on Metaphysics [1686], 34)

Book Reference

Leibniz,Gottfried: 'Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Parkinson,G.H.R. [Dent 1973], p.43

A Reaction

Interesting, but I think this is false. I would say animals do have a sense of their self, because that is the most basic feature of any mind, but what they lack is second-order thought, that is, ability to reflect on and judge their own beliefs and acts.