December 6-8, 2013
Sponsors: Nonhuman Rights Project, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale Animal Ethics Group, Yale Technology and Ethics Working Group
A growing body of research shows that many nonhuman animals, especially great apes, dolphins and whales, and elephants, have self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, and the other characteristics of “personhood.” If at least some animals are psychological persons isn’t it time to extend the legal protection of ‘human rights’ from our species to all beings with those characteristics? Given pending advances in genetic engineering and computing having a clear agenda for what criteria are necessary for personhood, and what we owe persons, may soon become even more complicated.
The Personhood Beyond the Human conference will tackle these questions and take a hard look at our evolving notions of personhood by analyzing them through the frameworks of neuroscience, behavioral science, philosophy, ethics, and law. Special consideration will be given to discussions of nonhuman animal personhood, both in terms of understanding the science and philosophy behind personhood, and ways to protect animal interests through the establishment of legal precedents and by increasing public awareness...
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