Animals in Philosophy and Science
The name of the institute has not been chosen accidentally. It specifies that the institute is focused on the way in which people in philosophy and science think about animals. In doing so, it wants to spread the scientific knowledge about animals that is gained from empirical research and to present the various philosophical opinions and arguments regarding animals that emanate from the various subdisciplines of philosophy (ethics, philosophical anthropology).
The name also shows that philosophers and scientists themselves are animals too. In this sense it is also an institute for people who occupy themselves with animals in philosophy and science. Humans are animals too. The institute considers the traditional dichotomy between humans on the one hand, and animals on the other hand, as a position outdated long ago. It is better therefore, instead of “humans and animals” to talk about “humans and óther animals.” Or about human and nonhuman animals. The name of the institute thus indicates that the scientists and philosophers that lecture at the institute’s events consider themselves as animals and don’t feel uncomfortable by their animal nature.
Change of mentality
The IAPS wants to contribute with its lectures and courses to a change in mentality with regard to animals. By transmission of knowledge and education the institute wants to demonstrate that all animals are individuals with feelings and thoughts. And that therefore all animals should be included in our human ethics. The position of dr. Rivas is abolitionist: ending all forms of human use of other animals. However, the institute itself takes no particular stance and wants to help people think for themselves about how they should relate to animals and to make it possible for them to adopt a position independently. The institute wants to give them knowledge and argumentation by which people can decide their own particular position.