Brakel, Linda A.W. (2016) Animals are agents Animal Sentience 2016.103
Mark Rowlands, Are animals persons?
Mark Rowlands’s (2016) target article invites us to consider individuals in a broad subset of the non-human animal world as genuine persons. His account features animals reacting to salient environmental stimuli as Gibsonian affordances, which is indicative of “pre-reflective self-awareness.” He holds that such pre-reflective self-awareness is both “immune to error through misidentification” (Shoemaker, 1968) and a necessary precursor to reflective consciousness and personhood. I agree. In this commentary I hope to extend Rowlands’s work with a view in which agency is an even more fundamental precursor and one can (and should) consider individuals throughout the entire animal kingdom as agents.