Moral agency in chimpanzees
Abstract. In their treatment of juveniles, chimpanzees show exceptional tolerance towards the behaviours of juvenile chimpanzees and go to great lengths to care for juvenile chimpanzees. This report will examine the behaviours shown by adult chimpanzees towards juvenile chimpanzees to see whether this behaviour indicates that chimpanzees have moral agency. The question of the report is “Does the treatment of juvenile chimpanzees indicate that chimpanzees have moral agency, understood as the ability to act in a virtuous manner, the possession of intellectual skills that allow an understanding of moral rules and the ability to accept responsibility for one’s actions and to hold others accountable for their actions?” The report will attempt to defend an affirmative answer to this question.