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Life Sciences

Animal Sentience

Empathy

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Moral Relevance Of Cognitive Complexity, Empathy And Species Differences In Suffering, John Lazarus Jan 2019

Moral Relevance Of Cognitive Complexity, Empathy And Species Differences In Suffering, John Lazarus

Animal Sentience

I qualify two criticisms made by commentators on Chapman & Huffman’s target article. Responding to the view that differences between humans and other animals are irrelevant to deciding how we should treat other species, I point out that differences between any species in their capacity to suffer are morally relevant. And in response to the claim that suffering is the sole criterion for the moral treatment of animals, I argue that cognitive complexity and a capacity for empathy also have moral relevance to the extent that they influence suffering.


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.


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

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.


Situating The Study Of Jealousy In The Context Of Social Relationships, Christine E. Webb, Frans B. M. De Waal Jan 2018

Situating The Study Of Jealousy In The Context Of Social Relationships, Christine E. Webb, Frans B. M. De Waal

Animal Sentience

Whereas the feelings of other beings are private and may always remain so, emotions are simultaneously manifested in behavior, physiology, and other observables. Nonetheless, uncertainty about whether emotions can be studied adequately across species has promoted skepticism about their very presence in other parts of the animal kingdom. Studying social emotions like jealousy in the context of the social relationships in which they arise, as has been done in the case of animal empathy, may help dispel this skepticism. Empathy in other species came to be accepted partly because of the behavioral similarities between its expression in nonhuman animals and ...


Inferring Emotion Without Language: Comparing Canines And Prelinguistic Infants, Stefanie Hoehl Jan 2017

Inferring Emotion Without Language: Comparing Canines And Prelinguistic Infants, Stefanie Hoehl

Animal Sentience

Research on canine emotions has to deal with challenges quite similar to psychological research on social and emotional development in human infants. In both cases, verbal reports are unattainable, and behavioral and physiological methods have to be adjusted to the specific population. I will argue that both regarding empirical approaches and conceptual work, advances in research on social-cognitive development in human infants can inform the study of canine emotions.


Animal Sentience: The Other-Minds Problem, Stevan Harnad Jan 2016

Animal Sentience: The Other-Minds Problem, Stevan Harnad

Animal Sentience

The only feelings we can feel are our own. When it comes to the feelings of others, we can only infer them, based on their behavior — unless they tell us. This is the “other-minds problem.” Within our own species, thanks to language, this problem arises only for states in which people cannot speak (infancy, aphasia, sleep, anaesthesia, coma). Our species also has a uniquely powerful empathic or “mind-reading” capacity: We can (sometimes) perceive from the behavior of others when they are in states like our own. Our inferences have also been systematized and operationalized in biobehavioral science and supplemented by ...