Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


Lecturing at University of Benin, Nigeria


It is apt and usual to cogitate and ratiocinate man and human rights; it is less so about or with (other) animal rights; and much more less and lesser so with/about “plant rights” and (possibly) the rights of cloned/the artificially intelligent agents’. This condition is unfair and not ideal because man, other animals, plants, and other human manipulations (AI) from nature constitute varying levels of being; therefore, they possess varying levels of rights. Hence there is need to espouse the nature/levels of being, on the one hand, and to adumbrate the nature/types of rights and as related to being as such—which is the imperative of this article. Dwelling on the cornucopia of literature/and common biological (and other) features in nature as basis for analysis, this article, first, seeks to establish that man, other animals, plants, and other human manipulations from nature constitute varying levels of being; and second, argues that each level of being as such possesses some rights associated with it. It argues further that either all beings have rights, or they don’t. The work concludes that if one accepts that all the levels of being possess rights (accordingly including plant, cloned and AI agents), then one has certain obligation to all levels of being; but accepting either poses the most existential and ontological threat to humanity and all of nature.


-      Anscombe, G.E.M. (1968). Intentions. In: Alan White, ed. The Philosophy of Action. Oxford University Press: 144-152.
-      Asekhauno, A. A. and Aigbodioh, J.A. “Social responsibility among the Afemai-Etsako of Nigeria”. Lafia Journal of African and Heritage Studies, LJAHS. Department of History and International Studies, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa, Nigeria Vol. 1, 2016: pp. 30-40.
-      Bewaji, J.A.I. (1983). “African Philosophy: Some Commentary.” The Nigerian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1983.
-      Blackburn, S. (1996). Oxford dictionary of philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
-      Breisach, E. (1962). Introduction to Modern Existentialism, New York: Grove Press.
-      Crowell, Steven (2010)."Existentialism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP).
-      Darwin, Charles, (1875), Insectivorous Plant. London: John Murray Publishers. 
-      Dubrovsky, D. (1983). The Problem of the Ideal. Moscow: Progress Publishers.
-      Graham, G. (1996). Philosophy of mind: An introduction. Cambridge: Blackwell Books Publications Inc.
-      Hume, D. (1999). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 147-164.
-      Irele, A. (1998). Introduction to Political Philosophy, Ibadan: University press: pp. 123-125.
-      Kaufmann, Walter (1956). Existentialism: From Dostoevesky to Sartre. New York: Meridian Books Inc.
-      Lawhead, William F. (2002). The Voyage of Discovery. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.
-      Lowrie, Walter (1969). Kierkegaard's “Attack upon ‘Christendom’,” 1844-1845. USA: PUP
-      McQuarrie, John (1972). Existentialism. New York: Westminster of Philadelphia Pub.
-      Pritchard, E. A. (1968). Acting, willing, desiring. In: Alan White, (ed.) The philosophy of action. Oxford University Press: 59-69.
-      Sartre, Jean-Paul (1947). Existentialism and Humanism. Great Britain: Methuen publishers.
-      Singer, P. (1986). Applied Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
-      Singer, P. (1994). Ethics, Oxford: University Press.
-      Solomon, Robert C. (1974). Existentialism. New York: McGraw-Hill.