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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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.


Cephalopods Are Best Candidates For Invertebrate Consciousness, Jennifer A. Mather, Claudio Carere Jun 2018

Cephalopods Are Best Candidates For Invertebrate Consciousness, Jennifer A. Mather, Claudio Carere

Jennifer Mather, PhD

Insects might have been the first invertebrates to evolve sentience, but cephalopods were the first invertebrates to gain scientific recognition for it.


Using Anthropocentrism To The Benefit Of Other Species, Vanessa Wilson Jan 2018

Using Anthropocentrism To The Benefit Of Other Species, Vanessa Wilson

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman (2018) argue that we should not consider humans as unique or superior to other animals when we have the chance to explore the diversity of the traits of other species. This is a valid and progressive point in our approach to research, but I suggest that an anthropocentric approach can have animal welfare benefits when it helps us perceive other species – especially distantly related ones such as crustaceans – in a human light.


A Preliminary Investigation Into The Welfare Of Lobsters In The Uk, Gemma Carder Jan 2017

A Preliminary Investigation Into The Welfare Of Lobsters In The Uk, Gemma Carder

Animal Sentience

The welfare of invertebrates is overlooked and their needs are not understood. It is assumed that they do not experience pain and suffering. Studies on decapod crustaceans challenge this assumption. Research has focused on distinguishing between nociception (the ability to detect a harmful stimulus and to react to it reflexively) and pain (an aversive feeling or emotional experience). Findings indicate that decapod crustaceans can experience pain, which supports a case for protecting their welfare. I have investigated the current husbandry conditions of a globally consumed decapod crustacean, the lobster, as housed in tanks inside food outlets in the UK. Housing ...


Refining The Precautionary Framework, Jonathan Birch Jan 2017

Refining The Precautionary Framework, Jonathan Birch

Animal Sentience

Most of the commentators so far agree that the precautionary principle can be usefully applied to the question of animal sentience. I consider various ways of refining my proposals in light of the suggestions. I amend BAR to implement C. Brown’s suggestion that the scope of animal welfare law should be extensible by phylogenetic inference from orders in which credible indicators of sentience are found. In response to C. Brown, Mallatt, and Woodruff, I amend ACT to allow that a single credible indicator may sometimes call for urgent further investigation rather than immediate protection. In response to Paez, I ...


Aquatic Animals, Cognitive Ethology, And Ethics: Questions About Sentience And Other Troubling Issues That Lurk In Turbid Water, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

Aquatic Animals, Cognitive Ethology, And Ethics: Questions About Sentience And Other Troubling Issues That Lurk In Turbid Water, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

In this general, strongly pro-animal, and somewhat utopian and personal essay, I argue that we owe aquatic animals respect and moral consideration just as we owe respect and moral consideration to all other animal beings, regardless of the taxonomic group to which they belong. In many ways it is more difficult to convince some people of our ethical obligations to numerous aquatic animals because we do not identify or empathize with them as we do with animals with whom we are more familiar or to whom we are more closely related, including those species (usually terrestrial) to whom we refer ...


Compassion As A Practical And Evolved Ethic For Conservation, David Ramp, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

Compassion As A Practical And Evolved Ethic For Conservation, David Ramp, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

The ethical position underpinning decisionmaking is an important concern for conservation biologists when setting priorities for interventions. The recent debate on how best to protect nature has centered on contrasting intrinsic and aesthetic values against utilitarian and economic values, driven by an inevitable global rise in conservation conflicts. These discussions have primarily been targeted at species and ecosystems for success, without explicitly expressing concern for the intrinsic value and welfare of individual animals. In part, this is because animal welfare has historically been thought of as an impediment to conservation. However, practical implementations of conservation that provide good welfare outcomes ...


Animal Welfare Cannot Adequately Protect Nonhuman Animals: The Need For A Science Of Animal Well-Being, Marc Bekoff, Jessica Pierce Sep 2016

Animal Welfare Cannot Adequately Protect Nonhuman Animals: The Need For A Science Of Animal Well-Being, Marc Bekoff, Jessica Pierce

Marc Bekoff, PhD

A focus on animal welfare in the use of nonhuman animals in the service of human economic and scientific interests does not and cannot adequately protect (nonhuman) animals. It presupposes that using other animals for human ends is acceptable as long as we try our best to improve the welfare of the animals we use. We argue instead for a “science of animal well-being” in which the protection of animal needs is not subordinated to human economic or scientific interests.


What Do We Owe Animals As Persons?, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg Aug 2016

What Do We Owe Animals As Persons?, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg

Animal Sentience

Rowlands (2016) concentrates strictly on the metaphysical concept of person, but his notion of animal personhood bears a moral dimension (Monsó, 2016). His definition of pre-reflective self-awareness has a focus on sentience and on the lived body of a person as well as on her implicit awareness of her own goals. Interestingly, these also play a key role in animal welfare science, as well as in animal rights theories that value the interests of animals. Thus, Rowlands’s concept shows connectivity with both major fields of animal ethics. His metaphysical arguments might indeed contain a strong answer to the question ...


Institutional Animal Care And Use Committees: A Flawed Paradigm Or Work In Progress?, John P. Gluck, F. Barbara Orlans Aug 2016

Institutional Animal Care And Use Committees: A Flawed Paradigm Or Work In Progress?, John P. Gluck, F. Barbara Orlans

John P. Gluck, PhD

In his challenging article, Steneck (1997) criticized the creation of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) system established by the 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act. He saw the IACUC review and approval of biomedical and behavioral research with animals as an unnecessary "reassignment" of duties from existing animal care programs to IACUC committees. He argued that the committees are unable to do the work expected of them for basically three reasons: (a) the membership lacks the expertise in matters relevant to animal research and care, (b) there exists an inherent and disabling conflict of interest, and ...


Cephalopods Are Best Candidates For Invertebrate Consciousness, Jennifer A. Mather, Claudio Carere Jul 2016

Cephalopods Are Best Candidates For Invertebrate Consciousness, Jennifer A. Mather, Claudio Carere

Animal Sentience

Insects might have been the first invertebrates to evolve sentience, but cephalopods were the first invertebrates to gain scientific recognition for it.


Considering Animals’ Feelings: Précis Of Sentience And Animal Welfare (Broom 2014), Donald M. Broom Jan 2016

Considering Animals’ Feelings: Précis Of Sentience And Animal Welfare (Broom 2014), Donald M. Broom

Animal Sentience

The concept of sentience concerns the capacity to have feelings. There is evidence for sophisticated cognitive concepts and for both positive and negative feelings in a wide range of nonhuman animals. All vertebrates, including fish, as well as some molluscs and decapod crustaceans have pain systems. Most people today consider that their moral obligations extend to many animal species. Moral decisions about abortion, euthanasia, and the various ways we protect animals should take into account the research findings about sentience. In addition, all animal life should be respected and studies of the welfare of even the simplest invertebrate animals should ...


Is Sentience Only A Nonessential Component Of Animal Welfare?, Ian J.H. Duncan Jan 2016

Is Sentience Only A Nonessential Component Of Animal Welfare?, Ian J.H. Duncan

Animal Sentience

According to Broom (2014), animal welfare is a concept that can be applied to all animals, including single-celled organisms that are obviously not sentient. Such a stance makes it difficult to draw a connection between welfare and sentience, and that is the book’s downfall. Some excellent points are made about sentience and there are very good discussions on animal welfare. However, unless sentience is considered the essential component of welfare, any attempt to link the two phenomena will be unsuccessful — and that, indeed, is the case with this book.


Linking Animal Ethics And Animal Welfare Science, Sue Donaldson, Will Kymlicka Jan 2016

Linking Animal Ethics And Animal Welfare Science, Sue Donaldson, Will Kymlicka

Animal Sentience

Broom (2014) argues that theories of animal ethics need to be better informed by the findings of animal welfare science. We agree, but argue that animal welfare science in turn may need to ask different questions. To date it has largely assumed that society will continue to treat domesticated animals as a caste group that exists to serve us, and that animal welfare is to be improved within that legal and political framework. We offer an alternative model of human-animal relations, and discuss what kind of animal welfare science it would require.


How Welfare Biology And Commonsense May Help To Reduce Animal Suffering, Yew-Kwang Ng Jan 2016

How Welfare Biology And Commonsense May Help To Reduce Animal Suffering, Yew-Kwang Ng

Animal Sentience

Welfare biology is the study of the welfare of living things. Welfare is net happiness (enjoyment minus suffering). Since this necessarily involves feelings, Dawkins (2014) has suggested that animal welfare science may face a paradox, because feelings are very difficult to study. The following paper provides an explanation for how welfare biology could help to reduce this paradox by answering some difficult questions regarding animal welfare. Simple means based on commonsense could reduce animal suffering enormously at low or even negative costs to humans. Ways to increase the influence of animal welfare advocates are also discussed, focusing initially on farmed ...


Animal Welfare Cannot Adequately Protect Nonhuman Animals: The Need For A Science Of Animal Well-Being, Marc Bekoff, Jessica Pierce Jan 2016

Animal Welfare Cannot Adequately Protect Nonhuman Animals: The Need For A Science Of Animal Well-Being, Marc Bekoff, Jessica Pierce

Animal Sentience

A focus on animal welfare in the use of nonhuman animals in the service of human economic and scientific interests does not and cannot adequately protect (nonhuman) animals. It presupposes that using other animals for human ends is acceptable as long as we try our best to improve the welfare of the animals we use. We argue instead for a “science of animal well-being” in which the protection of animal needs is not subordinated to human economic or scientific interests.


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.


Animal Pleasure And Its Moral Significance, Jonathan Balcombe Jun 2014

Animal Pleasure And Its Moral Significance, Jonathan Balcombe

Jonathan Balcombe, PhD

This paper presents arguments for, and evidence in support of, the important role of pleasure in animals’ lives, and outlines its considerable significance to humankind’s relationship to other animals. In the realms of animal sentience, almost all scholarly discussion revolves around its negative aspects: pain, stress, distress, and suffering. By contrast, the positive aspects of sentience – rewards and pleasures – have been rarely broached by scientists. Yet, evolutionary principles predict that animals, like humans, are motivated to seek rewards, and not merely to avoid pain and suffering. Natural selection favours behaviours that enhance survival and procreation. In the conscious, sentient ...