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Claude Allen



Do either of the following: (A.) Identify something from the text that you don't understand
and try to explain it: (B.) Identify something from the text that you disagree with and explain
why you disagree with it; (C.) Identify something important from the text that you agree
with, and explain why it is important.

B.) Descartes mentions that animals are equipped to have voices like ours. I agree and think that
animals do have voice organs that help them out. Although they may be different the animal has
the option to use the voice or not. Sort of when a dog barks at someone outside of their property
they voluntarily run up to the door and begin to bark. Not because the dog is originally
conditioned to always bark at people outside the house but because it wants to let everyone else
know that there is someone that is unknown close to the home. These actions are done
voluntarily, if they werent, wouldn't the animal or dog in this case do the same things at the
same times during the day because nature calls.

2. Explain how the distinction between the soul and the body functions in Descartes' argument
justifying the superiority of humans over non-human animals.

Descartes said the soul of the human body is separate from the rest of the body. The soul houses
everything that makes that person, a person. Therefore, as Descartes said, animals do not have

thought so therefore they cannot house a soul. Animals are stronger than humans in some ways,
but those ways only involve things that are not attributed to personal thought or reflection.

3. If we assume a secular standpoint, and thus reject Descartes' religious basis for human
superiority, do you think his conclusion of human superiority has any justification? Explain.

If we were to assume a secular standpoint, then human superiority would still have the same
justification. Descartes speaks more about the physical attributes and behaviors that animals and
humans exert. These things are observable and cannot be truly negated. Animals express specific
habits or actions when they need something. Its their form of communication, saying that they
need something its biological. They need something, and cause a external stimulus to someone or
something else to get what they need. In the end we can use whether or not to respond to the

4. Explain Locke's reasoning for why there must be a way to acquire private property. Why does
he identify labor as the key to understanding the nature of private property?

When someone wants to acquire private property they work for it. Its just as simple as that.
When someone puts in the work, or labor, to live or own a certain thing then they cannot be
negated that. The body that we have and the hands that we have are ours. It would be unjust to
negate the fact that anything that we do and create with our hands is therefore our property. We
cannot build forever therefore we cant waste that much space.

5. Explain the rationale for the limitation on private property based on the rule not to waste.

No man can really go into someone else space because that would simply be too much work to
do so. This is why men construct fences and walls, to separate their labor from someone elses. A
good example would be boarders between countries. The entire country has done its labor over
the last, however so many years, therefore its their right to have that set of land.

6. Explain the connection among the second limitation Locke put on private property, the as
much and as good provision, the invention of money, and the expansion of Europeans to

When money was invented it put a value on the amount of work that was done throughout the
day. It would be proportional to the services that you provide as apposed to trading meat and
other items necessary for survival for other items that you would desperately need. With the use
of money people are able to buy and build things on the property that they put a fence around or
built up over time. But because of this, that allows your neighbors to do the exact same. They are
able to build up just as much as his neighbor had. It proves to be healthy because every area will
constantly change over time.

7. Explain how Kant distinguishes an end-in-itself and a mere thing.

We are an end to ourselves. We only do and certainly eventually meet with death. Therefore one
day we will end. Also, this means that people can have self destructive behaviors that speed up
the process of their own end. People can be mere things through horrible behaviors.

8. Even though animals are, for Kant, mere things, why is it wrong to harm animals in many
instances? Alternatively, when is it allowable to harm animals?

Its allowable when we have lab rats that are cloned and created for that sole purpose by humans.
Its only wrong when testing is occurring to push the boundaries of the animals. If bunnies were
being used as test subjects for new soap, it wouldn't make any sense to have the soap be acidic
and have them die just to see what would happen. That would be inhumane.

9. Do you agree with Kant's view that animals are mere things? Explain.

No, a mere thing would be better an inanimate object with no beating heart or cells in its body.
Animals are as complex if not more complex than ourselves. They show that they are capable of
judging on emotions and surroundings by acting upon them.