Richard Dean
Died8 February 1778
Occupation(s)Minister, writer

Richard Dean (1727 – 8 February 1778) was an English Anglican minister and early animal rights writer.

Dean was born in Kirkby Malham, Yorkshire.[1] In addition to being an Anglican minister, Dean was schoolmaster of Middleton grammar school.[2] He was first curate of Royton Chapel and curate of Middleton.[2][1] He is best known for his two volume book, An Essay on the Future Life of Brutes, which argued for animal rights and a future existence (afterlife) for animals from the Bible.[2][3][4] Dean argued that animal immortality followed logically and morally from animal sentience. He believed that animals had a sentient principle or soul and that and a loving God would not have created animals subject to pain if he had not intended to compensate their suffering with a future existence.[5]

Dean argued against the Cartesian view that animals were mere machines.[1] He argued for animal intelligence and asserted that animals live and suffer as humans do. He believed that this implied that man has a moral responsibility to animals. During his time not many writers held this view; however, Dean did acknowledge the work of John Hildrop.[1]

He died in Middleton on 8 February 1778.[1]

Selected publications


  1. ^ a b c d e Grayling; A. C, Pyle, Andrew; Goulder, Naomi; Brown, Stuart C. (2007). The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy. Thoemmes Continuum. p. 802
  2. ^ a b c Sutton, Charles William. (1888). Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900. Volume 14. Smith, Elder & Co. p. 250
  3. ^ Garrett, Aaron. (2000). Animal Rights and Souls in the Eighteenth Century. Thoemmes Press. p. 18. ISBN 1-85506-826-5
  4. ^ Perkins, David. (2003). Romanticism and Animal Rights. Cambridge University Press. p. 28. ISBN 0-521-82941-0
  5. ^ Richardson, Angelique. (2013). After Darwin: Animals, Emotions, and the Mind. Rodopi. pp. 38-40. ISBN 978-90-420-3747-2