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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Becoming The Good Shepherds, Eze Paez Jun 2019

Becoming The Good Shepherds, Eze Paez

Animal Sentience

It is very important that we clarify what we owe to nonhuman animals. To that end, we need a better understanding of animal cognition and emotion. Marino & Merskin’s target article is a welcome contribution to this project. Sheep, like most other animals, are sentient beings with interests of their own. It is wrong to discriminate against them based on species-membership or cognitive sophistication. We are morally required not to harm them, and to help them have the best possible lives, just as we would be in the case of human beings with similar interests. We must become the good ...


A Revised Land Ethic: Sustainable And Spiritual Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Brooke Maitlan Parrett May 2019

A Revised Land Ethic: Sustainable And Spiritual Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Brooke Maitlan Parrett

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper proposes a return to the land and reconnection of spiritual practices through ethical teachings. Such a land ethic would involve answering the woes of industrial agriculture and providing a framework for farmers, consumers, and policymakers based on sustainable and spiritual considerations of the land. I analyze the loss of spiritual literacy and traditional ecological knowledge in the United States and discuss the spiritual history of agriculture in order to analyze contemporary religious perspectives on farming and agricultural ethics and thereby develop my own recommendations. The land ethic I propose combines sustainability and spirituality to develop intrinsic respect for ...


Universe Of Things: A Human Presentation Of Food-For-Thought., Madeline Halpern May 2019

Universe Of Things: A Human Presentation Of Food-For-Thought., Madeline Halpern

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

I present this statement under three loose categories: People, Objects and their Environment. I consider People as human, Objects as art objects, domestic objects, and food, and Environment as the shared space of the former groups. Food directs this statement as I present each concept and creative process as a metaphorical dish. Material exploration carried me from a direct practice of reorienting acrylic paint and questioning object functionality through personified sculptures into theoretical thesis work in which I use interpersonal relations and the idea of consumption to translate tactile, gustatory and olfactory sensations into digital film. In this meal I ...


Its Skin Is My Skin, Bryan Page May 2019

Its Skin Is My Skin, Bryan Page

Graduate School of Art Theses

This text examines the complexity of attempting to empathize with bodies that are vastly othered from my own. This broad yet nuanced subject crosses epistemological boundaries and complicates the dualities between both the mind and body, and between the corporeal and the virtual. My desire to better understand the conditions of another’s experience originates from a painful traumatic loss which caused me to feel isolated and incomplete. In response to this suffering, I long to emotionally connect with other beings and create artwork that attempts to bridge the qualia of individual experience.

I am interested in the capacity (or ...


Critical Embodied Praxis For Social Justice And Peace Educators: A Story Of Personal Transformation Through Analysis Of My Jewish And Settler Identities, Cara Michelle Silverberg Apr 2019

Critical Embodied Praxis For Social Justice And Peace Educators: A Story Of Personal Transformation Through Analysis Of My Jewish And Settler Identities, Cara Michelle Silverberg

Capstone Collection

In this paper, I examine definitions of and relationships between violence, oppression, peace, liberation, and embodiment in the context of critical pedagogy in order to construct a theory of critical embodied praxis for social justice and peace educators. Considering the body to be a tangible vessel through which narratives and mechanisms of violence are expressed and maintained, I explore the potential of the body to be a vessel through which liberatory narratives may be generated and shared. After constructing a theory of critical embodied praxis, I illustrate this framework in action through a personal narrative that explores the intersections of ...


Reoccupy Earth [Table Of Contents], David Wood Apr 2019

Reoccupy Earth [Table Of Contents], David Wood

Philosophy

Habit rules our lives. And yet climate change and the catastrophic future it portends, makes it clear that we cannot go on like this.

Our habits are integral to narratives of the good life, to social norms and expectations, as well as to economic reality. Such shared shapes are vital. Yet while many of our individual habits seem perfectly reasonable, when aggregated together they spell disaster. Beyond consumerism, other forms of life and patterns of dwelling are clearly possible. But how can we get there from here?

Philosophy is about emancipation—from illusions, myths, and oppression. In Reoccupy Earth, the ...


The Ethics Of Human-Animal Relationships And Public Discourse: A Case Study Of Lions Bred For Their Bones, Peter Coals, Dawn Burnham, Andrew Loveridge, David W. Macdonald, Michael 'T Sas-Rolfes, Vivvienne Williams, John A. Vucetich Feb 2019

The Ethics Of Human-Animal Relationships And Public Discourse: A Case Study Of Lions Bred For Their Bones, Peter Coals, Dawn Burnham, Andrew Loveridge, David W. Macdonald, Michael 'T Sas-Rolfes, Vivvienne Williams, John A. Vucetich

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science Publications

Conservation and natural resource management are increasingly attending the ethical elements of public decisions. Ethical considerations are challenging, in part, because they typically require accounting for the moral consideration of various human and nonhuman forms of life, whose interests sometimes conflict (or seem to conflict). A valuable tool for such evaluations is the formal analysis of ethical arguments. An ethical argument is a collection of premises, logically interrelated, to yield a conclusion that can be expressed in the form, “We ought to…” According to the rules of logic, a conclusion is supported by an argument if all its premises are ...


A Defense Of Pure Connectionism, Alex B. Kiefer Feb 2019

A Defense Of Pure Connectionism, Alex B. Kiefer

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Connectionism is an approach to neural-networks-based cognitive modeling that encompasses the recent deep learning movement in artificial intelligence. It came of age in the 1980s, with its roots in cybernetics and earlier attempts to model the brain as a system of simple parallel processors. Connectionist models center on statistical inference within neural networks with empirically learnable parameters, which can be represented as graphical models. More recent approaches focus on learning and inference within hierarchical generative models. Contra influential and ongoing critiques, I argue in this dissertation that the connectionist approach to cognitive science possesses in principle (and, as is becoming ...


How The “Ploughman Poet” Jumpstarted Highlandism:, Allison Ward Jan 2019

How The “Ploughman Poet” Jumpstarted Highlandism:, Allison Ward

All Regis University Theses

Begging the question of how the Scottish society has been reduced and commercialized to the romanticized, Scottish fantasy we see Scotland as today because of a process labeled ‘Highlandism’. The eighteenth-century poet Robert Burns became the focal point because of the impact of his major role in this creation and spread of this Sottish fantasy. Burns used his poetry as a method of delivery to sell nostalgia for a fictional, romantic, and exotic Scotland that had been created from symbols once associated with the Highlands to a now global audience.

Breaking down the historical, economic, and cultural shifts occurring around ...


Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen Jan 2019

Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen

CMC Senior Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to explore a thought-provoking consequence of the functionalist theory of mind. Given the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, Earth is probably conscious. The argument is explored through an examination of the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, which leads to the conclusion that Earth is conscious. Various theories of mind have been proposed by neuroscientists and philosophers alike in an attempt to qualify what consciousness is and what provides the basis for consciousness to occur. Support, in the form of data ...


Phooey On Comparisons, Gwen J. Broude Jan 2019

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 ...


What Is In An Octopus's Mind?, Jennifer Mather Jan 2019

What Is In An Octopus's Mind?, Jennifer Mather

Animal Sentience

It is difficult to imagine what an animal as different from us as the octopus ‘thinks’, but we can make some progress. In the Umwelt or perceptual world of an octopus, what the lateralized monocular eyes perceive is not color but the plane of polarization of light. Information is processed by a bilateral brain but manipulation is done by a radially symmetrical set of eight arms. Octopuses do not self-monitor by vision. Their skin pattern system, used for excellent camouflage, is open loop. The output of the motor system of the eight arms is organized at several levels — brain, intrabrachial ...


The Ingenuity Of Cephalopods, Angel Guerra Jan 2019

The Ingenuity Of Cephalopods, Angel Guerra

Animal Sentience

I present a brief overview of the richness of cephalopod behavioral, neural and cognitive traits.


The Problem Is Not Discourses Of Production; It Is Production Itself, Sean Hermanson Jan 2019

The Problem Is Not Discourses Of Production; It Is Production Itself, Sean Hermanson

Animal Sentience

The mistreatment of sheep is not because of fables, stereotypes, unconscious cultural paradigms, our collective consciousness, anthropocentricism, human arrogance, or our drive to dominate. Nonetheless, protections for sheep used in research and agriculture ought to be strengthened.


Domestication And Cognitive Complexity, David R. Brodbeck, Madeleine I. R. Brodbeck, Keeghan Rosso Jan 2019

Domestication And Cognitive Complexity, David R. Brodbeck, Madeleine I. R. Brodbeck, Keeghan Rosso

Animal Sentience

Marino and Merskin (2019) list a number of tasks that sheep can perform well. As comparative psychologists, we are not surprised by these results. Indeed, many domesticated animal species show similar abilities.


The Intelligence Of Sheep, David Gamez Jan 2019

The Intelligence Of Sheep, David Gamez

Animal Sentience

This commentary suggests how recent theories about the predictive brain could help us understand the evidence put forward by Marino & Merskin for intelligence in sheep. I contrast predictive intelligence in sheep with automatic behaviors that do not require intelligence, and I consider the flexibility of sheep intelligence.


Sentience Is The Foundation Of Animal Rights, Michael L. Woodruff Jan 2019

Sentience Is The Foundation Of Animal Rights, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman argue that the cognitive differences between humans and nonhuman animals do not make humans superior to animals. I suggest that humans have domain-general cognitive abilities that make them superior in causing uniquely complex changes in the world not caused by any other species. The ability to conceive of and articulate a claim of rights is an example. However, possession of superior cognitive ability does not entitle humans to superior moral status. It is sentience, not cognitive complexity, that is the basis for the assignment of rights and the protections under the law that accompany them.


More Evidence Of Complex Cognition In Nonhuman Species, Lesley J. Rogers Jan 2019

More Evidence Of Complex Cognition In Nonhuman Species, Lesley J. Rogers

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman have highlighted observations of animals performing, in nature, complex behaviour once thought to be unique to humans. Just as relevant to their argument are examples of cognition shown by domesticated species tested in controlled conditions. These strengthen the case for human/nonhuman similarities in behaviour and cognition. Recent research has brought to our attention the ability of nonhuman species to perform many tasks previously considered to be the hallmark of humans. Even though different species may use different ways of solving these tasks, the very fact that they can do it undermines the notion of human superiority.


Unique In Degree Not Kindness, Jennifer Vonk Jan 2019

Unique In Degree Not Kindness, Jennifer Vonk

Animal Sentience

Humans are certainly unique among living species. This is evident in the transformation of human environments and its resulting impact on other animals. However, many of the traits unique to humans are costly as well as adaptive and should certainly not be used to elevate their status above that of other species.


Mirror Neurons And Humanity’S Dark Side, Gisela Kaplan Jan 2019

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.


Intelligence As Mental Manipulation In Humans And Nonhuman Animals, Moran Bar-Hen-Schweiger, Avishai Henik Jan 2019

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 Jan 2019

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.


Anthropocentrism: Practical Remedies Needed, Helen Kopnina Jan 2019

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?


Is Human Uniqueness Fake News?, Sean Hermanson Jan 2019

Is Human Uniqueness Fake News?, Sean Hermanson

Animal Sentience

The world and its troubles don't need unfounded denials of human uniqueness.


“I Am Not An Animal”, Lori Marino Jan 2019

“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 Jan 2019

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.


Intelligence, Complexity, And Individuality In Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin Jan 2019

Intelligence, Complexity, And Individuality In Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin

Animal Sentience

Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are among the earliest animals domesticated for human use. They are consumed worldwide as mutton, hogget, and lamb, kept as wool and milk producers, and used extensively in scientific research. The popular stereotype is that sheep are docile, passive, unintelligent, and timid, but a review of the research on their behavior, affect, cognition, and personality reveals that they are complex, individualistic, and social.


Positive Sentience Is Underrated, Teya Brooks Pribac Jan 2019

Positive Sentience Is Underrated, Teya Brooks Pribac

Animal Sentience

My commentary focuses on two aspects of ovine (well-)being considered in the review: the developmental context and (un)fulfilled potentialities.


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

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.


Cognition, Emotion, Personality And The Conservation And Management Of Wild Ungulates, Rob Found Jan 2019

Cognition, Emotion, Personality And The Conservation And Management Of Wild Ungulates, Rob Found

Animal Sentience

Increasing public understanding of the complexity of wild ungulates can improve animal welfare and advance global conservation efforts of these keystone species. Unfortunately, shaping public opinion on wild species is challenging because personal experience with wildlife is declining, popular education is still biased towards the predator instead of the prey, and scientific research is more difficult to conduct on wild ungulates compared to those on farms, in zoos, or otherwise in captivity. Nevertheless, studies of cognition, individuality, and intelligence of wild ungulates are increasing. I briefly highlight some major results from my own work on complexity in wild elk, illustrating ...