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The Importance Of Research Applicability, Krista McLennan 2019 Chester University

The Importance Of Research Applicability, Krista Mclennan

Animal Sentience

Marino & Merskin’s (2019) review contains key information about the complexity of sheep and their intelligence level, but lacks practical application. The key to making any long-term changes to sheep welfare at an industry level is by generating research that is practically relevant to the sector. The practical application of research should be considered at the design stage and in consultation with producers. Additionally, thought needs to be given to how the practical application of the research will be transferred to those people directly involved in animal care (e.g., producers, stockpersons, etc.). Focusing on the practical relevance and application ...


Developmental Aspects Of Capacities, Karen Bartsch 2019 University of Wyoming

Developmental Aspects Of Capacities, Karen Bartsch

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman suggest that judgments of human superiority underlie our cruelty to animals. It might be useful to examine how such judgments operate within the human community. Children arguably have a potential for developing “superior” capacities but are outperformed on many tasks by animals. There is a continuum of development in children’s capacities. Perhaps there are interspecies evolutionary continua too. This highlights the complexity of reasoning about humans, animals, and moral inclusion.


Humans: Uniquely Responsible For Causing Conservation Problems, Uniquely Capable Of Solving Them, Michael L. Wilson, Clarence L. Lehman 2019 University of Minnesota

Humans: Uniquely Responsible For Causing Conservation Problems, Uniquely Capable Of Solving Them, Michael L. Wilson, Clarence L. Lehman

Animal Sentience

We share Chapman & Huffman’s views on the importance of promoting animal welfare and conservation. We disagree with their implication, however, that reverence for life and concern for the wellbeing of global ecosystems depend on a belief that other living things are similar to humans in any of their capacities. Humans exhibit special traits — language, cumulative culture, extraordinary capacity for cooperation when we are at our best, and ever-advancing technological developments — that enabled them to dominate the planet, resulting in the current conservation crisis. It is precisely the fact that humans have become unique that provides hope for finding conservation ...


Animal Sentience Is Not Enough To Motivate Conservation, Irene M. Pepperberg 2019 Harvard University

Animal Sentience Is Not Enough To Motivate Conservation, Irene M. Pepperberg

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman suggest that humans’ views of their own superiority are a source of their callousness toward the environment. I do not disagree but point to a number of other issues that must be addressed for conservation efforts to succeed.


Non-Human Animals Providing Rescue In Medical Emergencies, Rainer Spiegel 2019 University of Tuebingen (Germany), BG Trauma Hospital Tuebingen

Non-Human Animals Providing Rescue In Medical Emergencies, Rainer Spiegel

Animal Sentience

In their target article, Chapman & Huffman challenge the quotation of Sir William Osler that the desire to take medication distinguishes humans from non-human animals. They provide examples of self-medication in non-human animals. Based on these examples, it can be inferred that non-human animals practice at least some form of medicine for symptom control. I would like to extend this view by showing that non-human animals not only provide self-medication, but also rescue others facing emergencies.


Mirror Neurons And Humanity’S Dark Side, Gisela Kaplan 2019 University of New England,Armidale,Australia

Mirror Neurons And Humanity’S Dark Side, Gisela Kaplan

Animal Sentience

The last two decades have revealed brain mechanisms in birds and primates showing that, contrary to earlier prejudices, some birds can do things (cognitive and affective) on par with or even better than great apes and humans. The old dichotomies are breaking down; but the dark side is that these insights come at a time in the Anthropocene when humans have caused and continue to cause mass extinctions.


Phooey On Comparisons, Gwen J. Broude 2019 Vassar College

Phooey On Comparisons, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman reject the notion that human beings are very different from other animals. The goal is to undermine the claim that human uniqueness and even superiority are reason enough to treat other animals badly. But evaluating human uniqueness for this purpose only plays into the hands of those who exploit invidious comparisons between us and other animals to justify mistreatment of the rest of the animal kingdom. What human uniqueness we may discover would still be no justification for how we behave toward other animals. We should also ask ourselves whether any human-centric criterion can be justification for determining ...


Anthropomorphism Is The First Step, Marthe Kiley-Worthington 2019 Centre d'Eco-Etho Recherche et Education.

Anthropomorphism Is The First Step, Marthe Kiley-Worthington

Animal Sentience

Individuals have intentions, beliefs and choices. This sense of “personhood” has been known and used for centuries by those who have dealt professionally with any nonhuman mammal. All mammals have a lot in common physically and mentally. The first step toward understand another species’ point of view is anthropomorphism.


Intelligence As Mental Manipulation In Humans And Nonhuman Animals, Moran Bar-Hen-Schweiger, Avishai Henik 2019 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Intelligence As Mental Manipulation In Humans And Nonhuman Animals, Moran Bar-Hen-Schweiger, Avishai Henik

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman review and evaluate various aspects of the notion of human superiority. In this commentary we focus on intelligence and suggest a biologically based view of intelligence applicable to humans and non-human species alike. “Mental manipulation” (e.g., mental transformations, rotations, perspective-taking), an extension of object manipulation, provides a continuous, biologically based concept for studying intelligent behavior in humans and other species and challenges the notion of human superiority.


Taking Exception To Human Exceptionalism, Carrie P. Freeman 2019 Georgia State University

Taking Exception To Human Exceptionalism, Carrie P. Freeman

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman refute common claims used to justify human species distinctions, and they critique the animal cruelty that has resulted from this privileged status. I raise related questions for further study of the roots of human exceptionalism and about whether aspiring to be more like our fellow animals might be part of the solution.


Mobilizing Heads And Hearts For Wildlife Conservation, Valérie A. M. Schoof, Simon L'Allier 2019 York University

Mobilizing Heads And Hearts For Wildlife Conservation, Valérie A. M. Schoof, Simon L'Allier

Animal Sentience

Highlighting the shared evolutionary relationships between humans and animals — and recognizing that all species, including humans, are unique in their own way — may facilitate caring for and conserving animals by tapping into a human emotion: empathy.


Why Cod Don't Like To Sunbathe: Quantity And Quality In The Animal Kingdom, Christoph Jung 2019 Petwatch

Why Cod Don't Like To Sunbathe: Quantity And Quality In The Animal Kingdom, Christoph Jung

Animal Sentience

The difference between a cod and a lizard is not just a quantitative one. The recognition of qualitative differences between species does not imply a moral ranking. Our species’ special abilities to shape the earth mean we have a special responsibility for ensuring a liveable future for all organisms, human and non-human.


Sheep In Aesop’S And Phaedrus’S Fables, Matteo Colombo, Chiara Raucea 2019 Tilburg University

Sheep In Aesop’S And Phaedrus’S Fables, Matteo Colombo, Chiara Raucea

Animal Sentience

Sheep feature in various animal fables. Marino & Merskin suggest that “we” view sheep as “docile, passive, unintelligent, and timid,” but animal fables do not support this view. In Aesop’s and Phaedrus’s fables, sheep are a primary target of injustice; but they are not passive targets. Sheep endure injustice actively and honestly. They are intelligent, aware and outspoken about their own condition.


Humans Have Always Been Unique!, William C. McGrew 2019 School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews

Humans Have Always Been Unique!, William C. Mcgrew

Animal Sentience

Arguments about human uniqueness apply not only to extant species but also to extinct ones, that is, the hominin predecessors of anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Thus, unique and superior are doubly relative terms, in past and present. The scope for empirical comparison faces a spectrum of difficulty, from material (e.g., artefacts) to non-material (e.g., concepts) phenomena.


Anthropocentrism: Practical Remedies Needed, Helen Kopnina 2019 The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Anthropocentrism: Practical Remedies Needed, Helen Kopnina

Animal Sentience

It is true that one of the harmful consequences of creating categories where one group is unique and superior to others is that it justifies discriminating against the inferior groups. And outright abuse of nonhuman animals is indeed morally unjustifiable. But what is to be done about it?


Our Brains Make Us Out To Be Unique In Ways We Are Not, Matthew J. Criscione, Julian Paul Keenan 2019 Montclair State University

Our Brains Make Us Out To Be Unique In Ways We Are Not, Matthew J. Criscione, Julian Paul Keenan

Animal Sentience

Humans have long viewed themselves in a favorable light. This bias is consistent with a general pattern of self-enhancement. Neural systems in the medial prefrontal cortex underlie this way of thinking, which, even when false, may be beneficial for survival. It is hence not surprising that we often disregard contrary evidence in believing ourselves superior.


“I Am Not An Animal”, Lori Marino 2019 Animal Studies Repository

“I Am Not An Animal”, Lori Marino

Animal Sentience

The answer to Chapman & Huffman’s question — “Why do we want to think humans are different?” — lies in the work of Ernest Becker and the social psychology literature known as Terror Management Theory, according to which our deep anxiety about animality and death can drive our need to feel superior to the other animals.


Animal Cognition: Quantity Has A Quality Of Its Own, Ivaylo Borislavov Iotchev, Kauê Machado Costa 2019 Department of Ethology Eötvös Loránd University

Animal Cognition: Quantity Has A Quality Of Its Own, Ivaylo Borislavov Iotchev, Kauê Machado Costa

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman’s moral analysis fails to prove that the exploitation of animals or the environment is causally connected to beliefs about human capacities. Their exposition of the philosophical interpretations of animal cognition ignores historical context and confounds different levels of analysis. Their analysis of the scientific literature, from which they conclude that humans should not be considered as different from other animals, does not take into account many recent psychological and neuroscientific developments and rests upon a flawed understanding of the relationship between gradual and categorical differences, misrepresenting the two as mutually exclusive concepts.


Taking Darwinism Seriously, Carsta Simon 2019 University of Agder

Taking Darwinism Seriously, Carsta Simon

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman propose that dropping the categorical distinction between human and nonhuman animals may reduce the atrocious acts of humans towards nonhuman animals, but will it? Taking Darwinism seriously means accepting physical and behavioral continuity across species, including the capacity to feel pain.


Why Are Sheep Sheepish? How Perception Affects Animal Stereotyping, Robert G. Franklin Jr. 2019 Anderson University - South Carolina

Why Are Sheep Sheepish? How Perception Affects Animal Stereotyping, Robert G. Franklin Jr.

Animal Sentience

Marino & Merskin present compelling evidence that many stereotypes of sheep are incorrect. One factor that may play an important role in animal stereotyping is the physical appearance of animals, which can directly lead to stereotyping through automatic mental processes. Sheep have a round and babyish appearance that directly evokes judgments of warmth and docility. Depictions of sheep in art, and especially cartoons, reinforce this stereotype.


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