This item is only available for download by members of the University of Illinois community. Students, faculty, and staff at the U of I may log in with your NetID and password to view the item. If you are trying to access an Illinois-restricted dissertation or thesis, you can request a copy through your library's Inter-Library Loan office or purchase a copy directly from ProQuest.
Nature and Origin of Moral Agency in Mammalia
Reid, Mark D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Moral philosophers often claim that animals lack the basic capacities needed for morality. However, with no account that states the minimal requirements for being a moral agent, that claim is vulnerable. After developing such an account, the dissertation shows that many species of mammals satisfy the minimal requirements for moral agency---specialized emotional capacities that emerge from early attachment processes and motivate moral behavior in humans and other mammals. Additionally, the absence of these emotional capacities explains the absence of moral agency---psychopathy, in humans and other mammals. Making a clear case that mammals possess moral agency has importance for philosophical ethics, philosophical psychology, empirical thought and research, and societal beliefs and practices.