Hi-Phi Nation

Living in a Zoopolis

What’s next for the legal recognition of animals?


Episode Notes

A zoopolis is a future society that philosophers envision where wild, domesticated, and denizen animals have full political and legal rights. What would that look like? In this episode, we look at how animals were put on trial in medieval European courts, and how animal rights advocates and bringing animals back into the courtrooms to sue people and the US government.

We then look at what the science of animal minds tells us about how much agency animals have, and envision what political and legal rights various animals would have in a zoopolis. From there, we discuss and debate whether we should be allowed to farm animals, control their reproduction, and have them work for us.

Co-produced with Alec Opperman, guests include historian Gabriel Rosenberg, attorney Monica Miller, and animal minds researcher Professor Kristin Andrews.

For all back episodes from Seasons 1 thru 4 of Hi-Phi Nation, visit www.hiphination.org


About the Show

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

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  • Barry Lam is host and producer of Hi-Phi Nation and Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside, and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.