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Colin A. Chapman and Michael A. Huffman, Why do we want to think humans are different?

Abstract

Chapman & Huffman argue that humans inflict cruelty without apparent concern because of their categorization of the victims as inferior. The supposed inferiority of non-human animals can be argued against on the basis of documentation and analysis of behaviour. Humans continue to inflict cruelty on their own and other species. It is not obvious that a sense of superiority is a necessary aspect of cruel behaviour. Nor is it obvious that further enlightenment regarding the cognitive status of non-humans will diminish cruelty.

Author Biography

William H. Edmondson spent his career working on aspects of Cognitive Science covering speech processing, signed language linguistics, and human-computer interaction, and eventually strayed into astrobiology and SETI. He is now retired but with an honorary position in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham UK. He is also on the Advisory Board of METI. Website

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