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Life Sciences

Animal Sentience

Animal cognition

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Articles 1 - 10 of 10

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 ...


Phenotypic Similarity And Moral Consideration, S. Brian Hood, Sophia Giddens Jan 2019

Phenotypic Similarity And Moral Consideration, S. Brian Hood, Sophia Giddens

Animal Sentience

Identifying specific traits to justify according differential moral status to humans and non-human animals may be more challenging than Chapman & Huffman suggest. The reasons for this also go against their recommendation that we ought to attend to how humans and non-humans are similar. The problem lies in identifying the moral relevance of biological characteristics. There are, however, other reasons for treating non-human animals as worthy of moral consideration, such as the Precautionary Principle.


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.


Applied Cognition Research To Improve Sheep Welfare, Kristina Horback Jan 2019

Applied Cognition Research To Improve Sheep Welfare, Kristina Horback

Animal Sentience

If a change is going to occur in the care and management of domestic sheep, there needs to be a collaborative effort across many disciplines. This review by Marino & Merskin of the literature on cognitive processing in domestic sheep is limited by the inherent bias of the authors, including the impracticable goal of eliminating sheep production. Animal welfare concerns about the management of commercial sheep are valid; however, in order to make a difference, we need to develop an application for this knowledge about cognitive abilities in sheep.


Anthropocentrism As Cognitive Dissonance In Animal Research?, Ellen Furlong, Zachary Silver, Jack Furlong Jan 2018

Anthropocentrism As Cognitive Dissonance In Animal Research?, Ellen Furlong, Zachary Silver, Jack Furlong

Animal Sentience

Harmon-Jones et al. (2017) make a thought-provoking suggestion in their commentary on Zentall (2016): Overlooked biases among researchers on animal cognition might lead them to discount the traces of higher-order cognition in animals they study. We find the suggestion both philosophically important and worth further reflection for animal scientists. Harmon-Jones et al. point to two “cognitive dissonance” biases involving the clash between the common human resistance to viewing ourselves as animals/meat-eaters and how these biases might lead to discounting possible advanced cognitive performances in the animals studied. We show how these biases might appear in cognitive research generally and ...


Post-Darwin Skepticism And Run-Of-The-Mill Suicide, John Hadley Jan 2018

Post-Darwin Skepticism And Run-Of-The-Mill Suicide, John Hadley

Animal Sentience

Peña-Guzmán’s depiction of the opponent of animal suicide as a conservative is a straw man. It is possible to accept that animals are self-conscious and reflexive yet still reject the view that they have the mental wherewithal to commit run-of-the-mill suicide. That animal behaviour can be positioned on a continuum of self-destructive behaviour does not establish that animals can intentionally kill themselves.


Good News: Humans Are Neither Distinct Nor Superior, Anne Benvenuti Jan 2018

Good News: Humans Are Neither Distinct Nor Superior, Anne Benvenuti

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman suggest that to correct our thinking about the supposed superiority of humans over other animals, we must train our reasoned investigation upon ourselves. Their thesis may usefully be viewed from within the general findings of the cognitive revolution in science, particularly findings that speak to the limits of rationality in everyday thought of humans. That we have failed — throughout a long history of scientific and philosophical thought — to ask fundamental questions about animal cognition and emotion is rooted in the fact that much of our thinking, feeling, and behaving is beyond our own immediate grasp. Scientific investigation has ...


The “Precautionary Principle” – A Work In Progress, Shelley Adamo Jan 2017

The “Precautionary Principle” – A Work In Progress, Shelley Adamo

Animal Sentience

The target article by Birch illustrates the practical difficulties with the “Animal Sentience Precautionary Principle” (ASPP) while presenting potential solutions. However, the ASPP will be difficult to use without guidelines detailing how evidence of sentience should be assessed. Moreover, extrapolating conclusions found for a single species to all species within an Order is problematic. Finally, I recommend that Birch demonstrate his ASPP framework using a controversial test case to help show how it could be used in real-world situations.


The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews Nov 2016

The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews

Animal Sentience

Reluctance to overextend personhood seems to drive many of the skeptical responses in the first round of commentaries on Rowlands's target article. Despite Rowlands’s straightforward Response that we already accept some nonhumans as persons, there is still hesitation to accept that other nonhuman animals are persons. Rowlands's argument is sound but the skeptics don’t accept the Lockean notion of person. The metaphysical sense of person is a psychological one, however, and psychological properties grant one moral status according to many ethical theories.


Death In The Family, Maria Botero Jan 2016

Death In The Family, Maria Botero

Animal Sentience

Barbara King presents grief as the result of the capacity of human and non-human animals for social and affectionate bonds. This is a novel approach that provides a context for interpreting behavioral evidence of grief. The book also offers thought-provoking insights into the relationship between emotion and the expression of emotion. The most surprising element of King’s approach is that, throughout the book, her account of non-human animal grief forces us to reassess the way we treat them.