To me, ethical behaviourism says that the epistemic ground or warrant for believing that we have certain duties and responsibilities toward other entities lies in their observable behavioural relations and reactions to us (and the world around them), not in their inner mental states or capacities.
Take consciousness/sentience as an example. Many people believe that conscious awareness is the most important thing in the world. They think that the reason we should respect other humans and animals, and why we have certain ethical duties toward them, is because they are consciously aware. An ethical behaviourist can accept this position. They can agree that conscious awareness provides the ultimate metaphysical warrant for our duties to animals and humans. They simply modify this slightly by arguing that our epistemic warrant for believing in the existence of this metaphysical property, derives from an entity’s observable behavioural patterns.
If you are an ethical behaviourist and you’re asked whether an entity (X) has certain rights and duties, you will determine this by comparing their behavioural patterns to the patterns of another entity (Y) that we think already possesses those rights and duties. If the two are behaviourally indistinguishable, you’ll tend to think that X has those rights and duties too.
讀完：December 7, 2017 at 02:28PM｜來源：URL