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please let's talk about what's interesting and stay off the metaphysics.

Most would agree there's a point at which moderation goes too far. I can't tell if you're making an appeal as a person, or making a decree as a moderator.

I read the article, and it's absolutely full of metaphysics. From the questions surrounding determinism and free will, to the questions of the moral responsibility of those in dominant positions, to the nature of love and pain and grief.

These metaphysical topics interest me, and apparently they interested the writer, even if they don't interest you.

That's fair, and if you want to respond to the actual article on that basis, as opposed to just reflexing on the title, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. I've taken out the bit about metaphysics from my comment above, since it isn't necessary. The point is simply that the article deserves a better discussion.

I'm making an appeal as a moderator person. When the delta between an an article's quality and the HN discussion's quality gets that severe, it's proven helpful.

At first I rolled my eyes at your point, but then I thought about it more.

And I realized that the fact is probably for most of HN the question of "Do souls exist?" is just more interesting to them than "Emotional bonds with 1 out of the X million species." And I realized there was a time in my life when those philosophical topics didn't seem exhausted.

That big gap between in ways of looking at the world ("Wow what a beautiful emotional article about connection" vs "Human connection is just some evolutionary detail, let's look at Objective Big Picture (TM)") is something worth minding; it can help us understand each other.

I agree. This article is a philosophical text delving into the mind, soul, consciousness, determinism, ethics, etc and the difference and similarities between humans and animals. It references Nagel ( "What is it like to be a bat?" ), Descartes ( Mind, Body dichotomy ), etc. The article pretty much addresses what first year philosophy majors discuss.

There are references to literature ( Pope ) and scientists ( Darwin ) and elephant researchers, but the central themes of this article is a philosophical one. The ethical and metaphysical questions that cannot be answered by science or emotions.

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