|2020-2021||Chercheur-e invité-e, Éthique environnementale et animale|
Rainer Ebert is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and lives in Texas. From 2017 to 2019, he was a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Before that, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, where he was working under the supervision of Professor Thaddeus Metz.
He graduated from Rice University with a PhD in Philosophy in May 2016. In his doctoral dissertation, which he wrote under the direction of Professor George Sher, he defends a novel account of the wrongness of killing, according to which it is no less seriously wrong to kill a non-human conscious animal than it is to kill you or me. He further holds Master’s degrees in Physics and Philosophy.
When he was an undergraduate student in Heidelberg, he organized Germany’s first interdisciplinary lecture series on animal rights. He edited the papers from the series in a book, Tierrechte – Eine interdisziplinäre Herausforderung (Harald Fischer Verlag, 2007). The book contributed to a more thoughtful public and academic debate about animals in the German-speaking world. His second edited book, Africa and Her Animals – Philosophical and Practical Perspectives (University of South Africa Press, 2018), investigates the moral, social, cultural, religious, and legal status of non-human animals in Africa. It contains a foreword by the Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee and contributions from multiple disciplines and 14 countries, and serves as a source of information and inspiration for researchers, students, policymakers, activists, and others dealing with, or interested in, animals in Africa.
His other publications include “Innocent Threats and the Moral Problem of Carnivorous Animals” (Journal of Applied Philosophy), which addresses the issue of predation and what it may imply morally, “Mental-Threshold Egalitarianism: How Not to Ground Full Moral Status” (Social Theory and Practice), which offers a tentative defence of equality for all conscious animals, and “Are Humans More Equal Than Other Animals? An Evolutionary Argument Against Exclusively Human Dignity” (Philosophia), which aims to show that the two most common kinds of secular arguments for equal and exclusively human worth are at odds with our modern scientific view of the natural world.
He has lectured in numerous countries, including Bangladesh, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Morocco, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States, on animal ethics and other topics in moral philosophy, and regularly writes columns on moral, social, and policy issues for newspapers in the United States and a number of countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa.