Department of Philosophy



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Frederic Cote-Bourdeau

Frédéric, VINE Sanctuary with Dante

Animal Ethics, Political & Moral Philosophy, Disability Studies

Frédéric comes from the province of Québec where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at Université de Montréal. His interests cover issues at the intersection between political philosophy—especially liberalism—and animal ethics. He is also active in the Québec animal justice movement and maintains a French-language blog at

Frédéric's doctoral thesis is focusing on the concept of autonomy applied to animals and persons with cognitive disabilities. The underlying assumption is that, contrary to what the prevalent paradigms of autonomy state, these individuals are prima facie entitled to the right to make personal choices and to control their own lives, which entails that they should not be exploited even if they are not consciously harmed and that they should not be kept under a permanent wardship where they are deprived of their liberties. This research leads to philosophical issues such as the interest in liberty, non-domination, value theories, paternalism, perfectionism, adaptive preferences, social influence, relational autonomy, and disability studies.