Do animals have a moral sense?

PSYCHOLOGY – They help each other, share and know when they have done something wrong. But is that enough to make them keepers of good?

From this video of stray cats rescuing a kitten to this report showing an elephant helping one of its elderly fellows, to this dog who seems to bow his head in shame when we catch him committing something stupid, we have a thousand examples of cases where animals seem not only to differentiate between good and evil, but also to want to work to make the former triumph. But can we say that they are endowed with a moral sense?

To do this, we have to face two major questions. The first is: what is the moral sense? “Plutarch had collected anecdotes postulating a form of morality in animals, summarizes the philosopher Catherine Larrère. These have passed through to modernity. But, until the XVIIe-XVIIIe century, we thought of morality as linked to reason. It is only with Anglo-Saxon philosophers like Hume that reason is no longer considered as the only mode of access to morality: there would also be

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