Pablo Magaña and Eze Paez

'A Democratic Argument for Animal Uplifting'

30 January 2023, 2-3.30pm
In-person in room G17 (Elmfield Building) and online via Google Meet


In this paper, we argue that, should it become technologically feasible, we would have a pro tanto obligation to modify nonhuman animals’ capacities so that they can better participate in mass democratic politics (what we call animal political uplifting). As long as they lack political agency, we argue, animals are vulnerable to a large number of serious harms, derived from their inability to express their interests as they see them, self-organise, and hold their representatives accountable.

Animal uplifting, we suggest, might protect them from these harms better than alternative proposals, such as designating special representatives for them. In addition, we argue that such a proposal can be derived from the most plausible reading of several influential accounts of cognitive enhancement. Finally, some objections are considered and found wanting.