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Life Sciences

Animal Sentience

Ethics

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Articles 1 - 7 of 7

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.


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.


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.


On Crabs And Statistics, Jonathan Birch Jan 2018

On Crabs And Statistics, Jonathan Birch

Animal Sentience

I respond to commentaries by Elwood and Seth & Dienes and to a recent critique by Diggles, discussing the link between avoidance learning and sentience, the relevance of the clash between frequentist and Bayesian statistics, the risks to decapod welfare in aquaculture, and the broader concerns one may have about a “precautionary” approach to protecting invertebrates.


What Would The Babel Fish Say?, Monica Gagliano Jan 2016

What Would The Babel Fish Say?, Monica Gagliano

Animal Sentience

Starting with its title, Key’s (2016) target article advocates the view that fish do not feel pain. The author describes the neuroanatomical, physiological and behavioural conditions involved in the experience of pain in humans and rodents and confidently applies analogical arguments as though they were established facts in support of the negative conclusion about the inability of fish to feel pain. The logical reasoning, unfortunately, becomes somewhat incoherent, with the arbitrary application of the designated human criteria for an analogical argument to one animal species (e.g., rodents) but not another (fish). Research findings are reported selectively, and questionable ...


Why Animal Welfarism Continues To Fail, Lori Marino Jan 2016

Why Animal Welfarism Continues To Fail, Lori Marino

Animal Sentience

Welfarism prioritizes human interests over the needs of nonhuman animals. Despite decades of welfare efforts other animals are mostly worse off than ever before, being subjected to increasingly invasive and harmful treatments, especially in the factory farming and biomedical research areas. A legal rights-based approach is essential in order for other animals to be protected from the varying ethical whims of our species.


What’S The Common Sense Of Just Some Improvement Of Some Welfare For Some Animals?, Liv Baker Jan 2016

What’S The Common Sense Of Just Some Improvement Of Some Welfare For Some Animals?, Liv Baker

Animal Sentience

The goal of Animal Welfare Science to reduce animal suffering is commendable but too modest: Suffering animals need and deserve far more.