Sorell vs Rowlands: Morality Beyond Humanity - I

Are humans the only animals who act morally?

Human beings are animals, but are they the only animals who act morally? They are certainly not the only animals who co-operate or who co-ordinate their behaviour, especially in groups. But co-ordination is not all there is to morality. Drivers often try to stay in lane so as to avoid collision and also to get directly to their destination. This is co-ordination but it is unclear that it deserves special moral credit, or indeed any moral credit. Perhaps driving in lane is just a matter of prudence.

Or think of people forming a queue to get off the train. No-one in the queue need be particularly conscious of any other person’s well-being or be trying to avoid harm. Forming the queue may be habitual and unthinking. It need not involve the kind of considerateness that is intuitively associated with morality. So despite the British fondness for queues and the widespread perception that they are part of a civilized approach to getting one’s share of services or goods, queues ar

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