Dr. Nico Müller

Assistent / PostDoc (Fachbereich Philosophie)


Steinengraben 5
4051 Basel


My current project investigates conceptual and normative questions related to the issue of animal research transition: What philosophy underpins current efforts to support non-animal methods in science, what is the case for and against transition planning, and what are the ethical conditions of a just transition? I pursue these issues as part of the National Research Programme 79 “Advancing 3R”.

Prior to this project, I completed my PhD with a thesis on “Kantianism for Animals” which was published in the Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series. After that, I was part of the ethics team in a large research collaboration (NCCR Evolving Language) and continued to write on various animal ethics issues.

Research Interests

Animal Ethics, Animal Research Ethics, Kantian Ethics

PhD Thesis


Kantianism for Animals: A Radical Kantian Animal Ethic (March 2017 – December 2020)


This open access book revises Kant’s ethical thought in one of its most notorious respects: its exclusion of animals from moral consideration. The book gives readers in animal ethics an accessible introduction to Kant’s views on our duties to others, and his view that we have only ‘indirect’ duties regarding animals. It then investigates how one would have to depart from Kant in order to recognise that animals matter morally for their own sake. Particular attention is paid to Kant’s ‘Formula of Humanity,' the role of autonomy and the moral law, as well as Kant’s notions of practical reason and animal instinct. The result is a deliberately amended version of Kantianism which nevertheless remains faithful to central aspects of Kant’s thought. The book’s final part illustrates the framework’s use in applied contexts, addressing the issues of using animals as mere means, the ethics of veganism and vegetarianism, and environmental protection. Nico Dario Müller shows how, when furnished with duties to animals, Kant's moral philosophy can be a powerful resource for animal ethicists. 

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Müller, N. D. (2022). Kantianism for Animals: A Radical Kantian Animal Ethic. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Link

– (2022). “Korsgaard’s Duties towards Animals: Two Difficulties.” Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism 10(1), S. 9–26. Link

– (2022). “From Here to Utopia: Theories of Change in Nonideal Animal Ethics.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 35(4), 21. Link

– (2022). “Innocentism: Preferring the Innocent Over the Culpable.” Journal of Value InquiryLink

– (2021). “Wenn Tiere bloße Mittel zum Zweck sind.” Tierstudien 20, S.167–169.

– (2020). “Haben Tiere Rechte?.” Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur 8(3), S.50–56. Link

– (2018). “Animal Boredom.” In: Thompson, P; Kaplan, D. (eds.): Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, S. 1–5.

– (2018). “Kants Gesamtwerk in neuer Perspektive. ” Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur 6(2), S. 40–46. Link

– (2017). “Die tierliche Rechtsperson: Warum und Wie?” Tierstudien 11, S. 164–165.