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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

"Beyond Words," Yes, But Also Beyond Numbers, Fred L. Bookstein Jul 2016

"Beyond Words," Yes, But Also Beyond Numbers, Fred L. Bookstein

Animal Sentience

Safina’s fascinating series of fifty separate feuilletons tries to bridge a painful Methodenstreit in contemporary ethology mainly by an accumulation of anecdotes. Some deal with his own dogs, but most derive from reading or conversing with observers of a wider range of social mammals including elephants, wolves, apes, and whales. In spite of the many interruptions by travesties of the academic lifestyle and its literature, there is a point to be made, concerning the centrality of evidence about cooperative behavior styles, especially aspects of child-rearing, for the understanding of “what animals think and feel.” But Safina’s argument would ...


Fish Sentience And The Precautionary Principle, Robert C. Jones Jan 2016

Fish Sentience And The Precautionary Principle, Robert C. Jones

Animal Sentience

Key (2016) argues that fish do not feel pain based on neuroanatomical evidence. I argue that Key makes a number of conceptual, philosophical, and empirical errors that undermine his claim.


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 ...


No Evidence That Pain Is Painful Neural Process, Riccardo Manzotti Jan 2016

No Evidence That Pain Is Painful Neural Process, Riccardo Manzotti

Animal Sentience

Key (2016) claims that fish do not feel pain because they lack the neural structures that have a contingent causal role in generating and feeling pain in mammals. I counterargue that no conclusive evidence supports the sufficiency of any mammalian neural structure to produce pain. We cannot move from contingent necessity in mammals to necessity in every organism.