“Reason enables us to take the point of view of the universe,” he told me.
Although rationality might help nudge us toward a more universal perspective, it alone can’t get us all the way there.
Emanuela Cardia at the University of Montreal studied more than 3,000 censuses from the 1940s and found that household inventions — the washing machine, the refrigerator, the electric stove — were a major engine of liberation for women.
Once the washing machine was invented and made widely accessible, for instance, women were freed up to do other things, like join the workforce.
Lake Erie won legal personhood status in February, and recent years have seen rights granted to rivers and forests in New Zealand, India, and Colombia.
And then there are some who argue that even machines can be granted rights.What about a robot we may invent in the future that seems just as sentient as chimpanzees and elephants, despite being made of silicon?Maybe you think it would be wrong to discriminate on the basis of substrate, so we need the legal system to recognize robot rights, a theme Northern Illinois University media studies professor David Gunkel explores in his new book of that name.Anthony once said, “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Similarly, other inventions have arguably catalyzed the expansion of the moral circle.Steven Pinker, in his book , says the printing press was crucial to humanity’s ethical development because it helped spread humanitarian ideas.Abraham Maslow famously illustrated this basic concept with his image of a pyramid representing our hierarchy of needs.It’s pretty hard to worry about the lofty goals at the top of the pyramid if we’re busy worrying about our own bodily safety, which is at the base.Mapping this insight onto the moral circle, a team of Australian psychologists noted in a 2016 study: “One possibility is that moral expansiveness is evident in cases for which people’s basic needs have been met, allowing them to turn their attention and resources to more distant entities.” Scholars have tried to show through particular historical examples how the development of new technologies can create the conditions for more people to gain rights.In some cases, that’s because the inventions take care of some of our more basic needs. ) agrees that women deserve the same rights as men.But just a couple of centuries ago, that idea would’ve been dismissed as absurd.