Shelly Kagan sitting cross-legged on a desk

Shelly Kagan

Shelly is Clark Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, where he has taught since 1995. He is best known for his writings about moral philosophy and normative ethics. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.

Shelly has a naturalistic worldview (see his debate with William Lane Craig on “Is god necessary for morality” (spoiler alert: “no”)) and seems to have a sentiocentric moral scope – while also considering agency as an additional factor. In his book “How to count animals, more or less” he sets out a hierarchical approach to the moral consideration of animals.

He has said: “My view [is] that what morality boils down to is, ‘Don’t harm, and do help.’ And now the question is, ‘Can creatures like chickens and cows be harmed?’ And the answer is, ‘Of course they can.’ Consequently, I think it’s immoral to harm them.”

Shelly at Yale
Shelly on Wikipedia

Thanks to Ronald Wilson for the nomination!

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