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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Utilitarianism Generalized To Include Animals, Yew-Kwang Ng Jul 2016

Utilitarianism Generalized To Include Animals, Yew-Kwang Ng

Animal Sentience

In response to the seventeen commentaries to date on my target article on reducing animal suffering, I propose that the term “welfarism” (when used pejoratively by animal advocates) should be qualified as “anthropocentric welfarism” so as to leave “welfarism” simpliciter to be used in its generic sense of efforts to improve conditions for those who need it. Welfarism in this benign sense — even in its specific utilitarian form (maximizing the sum total of net welfare) with long-term future effects and effects on others (including animals) appropriately taken into account — should be unobjectionable (even if not considered sufficient by all advocates ...


Where Is Pain In The Brain?, Marshall Devor Jan 2016

Where Is Pain In The Brain?, Marshall Devor

Animal Sentience

Key argues that fish cannot experience pain based on (1) brain imaging in humans, (2) consequences of lesions and (3) direct brain stimulation. Imaging indeed shows that pain-relevant signals reach the cortex, but not that they underlie the subjective experience of pain. Lesions and stimulation data are more to the point, but Key paints an idiosyncratic and misleading picture of their effects. S1 and S2 ablation does not eliminate evoked or spontaneous pain, although there may be up- or down-modulation. Likewise, stimulation of pain-associated cortical areas rarely induces pain, and pain almost never occurs at the onset of epileptic seizures ...


Animal Mourning: Précis Of How Animals Grieve (King 2013), Barbara J. King Jan 2016

Animal Mourning: Précis Of How Animals Grieve (King 2013), Barbara J. King

Animal Sentience

Abstract: When an animal dies, that individual’s mate, relatives, or friends may express grief. Changes in the survivor’s patterns of social behavior, eating, sleeping, and/or of expression of affect are the key criteria for defining grief. Based on this understanding of grief, it is not only big-brained mammals like elephants, apes, and cetaceans who can be said to mourn, but also a wide variety of other animals, including domestic companions like cats, dogs, and rabbits; horses and farm animals; and some birds. With keen attention placed on seeking where grief is found to occur and where it ...