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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Fish Sentience Denial: Muddying The Waters, Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown Sep 2019

Fish Sentience Denial: Muddying The Waters, Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown

Lynne Sneddon, PhD

Recent empirical studies have reported evidence that many aquatic species, including fish, cephalopods and crustaceans, have the capacity for nociception and pain, and that their welfare should be taken into consideration. Some sceptics, rejecting the precautionary principle, have denied that any study demonstrates pain or other aspects of sentience in fish. This target article discusses some of the scientific shortcomings of these critiques through a detailed analysis of a study exploring nociception and analgesia in larval zebrafish.


Ample Evidence For Fish Sentience And Pain, Lynne U. Sneddon, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown Sep 2019

Ample Evidence For Fish Sentience And Pain, Lynne U. Sneddon, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown

Lynne Sneddon, PhD

The majority of commentaries are supportive of our position on the scepticism that muddies the waters surrounding fish pain and sentience. There is substantial empirical evidence for pain in fish. Animals’ experience of pain cannot be compared to artificial intelligence (AI) because AI can only mimic responses to nociceptive input on the basis of human observations and programming. Accepting that fish are sentient would not be detrimental to the industries reliant on fish. A more proactive discussion between scientists and stakeholders is needed to improve fish welfare for the benefit of all.


Anthropomorphic Denial Of Fish Pain, Lynne U. Sneddon, Matthew C. Leach Sep 2019

Anthropomorphic Denial Of Fish Pain, Lynne U. Sneddon, Matthew C. Leach

Lynne Sneddon, PhD

Key (2016) affirms that we do not know how the fish brain processes pain but denies — because fish lack a human-like cortex — that fish can feel pain. He affirms that birds, like fish, have a singly-laminated cortex and that the structure of the bird brain is quite different from that of the human brain, yet he does not deny that birds can feel pain. In this commentary we describe how Key cites studies that substantiate mammalian pain but discounts the same kind of data as evidence of fish pain. We suggest that Key's interpretations are illogical, do not reflect ...


Raising Consciousness About Chicken Consciousness, Bernard Rollin Sep 2019

Raising Consciousness About Chicken Consciousness, Bernard Rollin

Bernard Rollin, PhD

The topics explored by Marino are definitive, and should work well to lay to rest forever the widespread belief that chickens have no personality, are unintelligent, or in any other way lack a mental life.


Far More To Sheep Than Meets The Casual Eye, Bernard Rollin Sep 2019

Far More To Sheep Than Meets The Casual Eye, Bernard Rollin

Bernard Rollin, PhD

Marino & Merskin’s survey of the cognitive and social capacities of sheep is an eye-opener about the individuality and emotionality of this most maligned of all farm animals. My own eyes had already been opened by an adopted orphaned lamb, so much more like a dog as a companion animal than the mindless robot I had been conditioned to expect. I am morally certain that Marino & Merskin’s survey will have a similar effect on readers open to changing their minds.


Raising The Moral Consciousness Of Science, Bernard Rollin Sep 2019

Raising The Moral Consciousness Of Science, Bernard Rollin

Bernard Rollin, PhD

Precaution on behalf of sentient animals should not be tempered by the questionable principle of the amorality of science.


Unity Of Consciousness In Animals, Bernard E. Rollin Sep 2019

Unity Of Consciousness In Animals, Bernard E. Rollin

Bernard Rollin, PhD

Both Descartes the rationalist and Hume the empiricist, polar opposites philosophically, denied the unity and continuity of animal mind. Kant pointed out that the presence of retrievable memories entails unity of consciousness. Rowlands now argues that animals too have unity of consciousness.


Thinking About Thinking Chickens, Lori Marino Sep 2019

Thinking About Thinking Chickens, Lori Marino

Lori Marino, PhD

This response focuses on three major conceptual threads that run through the peer commentary on my target article: (1) how the use of chickens influences our views of them, (2) whether education is effective, and (3) what components of chicken psychology are most relevant to understanding who chickens are.



“I Am Not An Animal”, Lori Marino Sep 2019

“I Am Not An Animal”, Lori Marino

Lori Marino, PhD

The answer to Chapman & Huffman’s question — “Why do we want to think humans are different?” — lies in the work of Ernest Becker and the social psychology literature known as Terror Management Theory, according to which our deep anxiety about animality and death can drive our need to feel superior to the other animals.


Deepening Our Understanding Of Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin Sep 2019

Deepening Our Understanding Of Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin

Lori Marino, PhD

Our Response is centered on five major themes: (1) our presentation of human mythologies about sheep; (2) the relevance of cognitive complexity (“intelligence”) as a dimension underlying the way people perceive and treat sheep; (3) whether our review is too anthropocentric or anthropomorphic; (4) animal welfare versus animal rights (abolitionism); and (5) whether knowledge and education are enough to change human attitudes and behavior.


Octopus Minds Must Lead To Octopus Ethics, Barbara J. King, Lori Marino Sep 2019

Octopus Minds Must Lead To Octopus Ethics, Barbara J. King, Lori Marino

Lori Marino, PhD

Mather argues convincingly for the existence of minds in octopuses based largely on laboratory experiments. Many of these experiments are highly invasive and involve mutilation and death. Moreover, octopuses are now being hailed as a “new model” for biological research and are being enthusiastically bred in captivity, both for research and for food. We argue that the compelling evidence for mind in octopuses must be accompanied by intense scrutiny of the ethics that shape how we treat them and that the intrinsic value of their individual lives must be recognized.


The Inconvenient Truth About Thinking Chickens, Lori Marino Sep 2019

The Inconvenient Truth About Thinking Chickens, Lori Marino

Lori Marino, PhD

Original Abstract: Domestic chickens are members of an order, Aves, which has been the focus of a revolution in our understanding of neuroanatomical, cognitive, and social complexity. Some birds are now known to be on a par with many mammals in their intelligence, emotional sophistication, and social interaction. Yet views of chickens have largely remained unrevised in light of this new evidence. In this paper, I examine the data on cognition, emotions, personality, and sociality in chickens, exploring such areas as self-awareness, cognitive bias, social learning and self-control, and comparing their abilities with other birds and other vertebrates, particularly mammals ...


Intelligence, Complexity, And Individuality In Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin Sep 2019

Intelligence, Complexity, And Individuality In Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin

Lori Marino, PhD

Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are among the earliest animals domesticated for human use. They are consumed worldwide as mutton, hogget, and lamb, kept as wool and milk producers, and used extensively in scientific research. The popular stereotype is that sheep are docile, passive, unintelligent, and timid, but a review of the research on their behavior, affect, cognition, and personality reveals that they are complex, individualistic, and social.


Debunking Human Prejudice And Blindness, Peter J. Li Sep 2019

Debunking Human Prejudice And Blindness, Peter J. Li

Peter J. Li, PhD

Human prejudice and blindness to animal suffering are shocking. Despite their differences in culture, politics, and religious beliefs, humans have one thing in common. They see nonhuman animals as inferior and have since time immemorial assumed a dominant position in an asymmetrical human-animal relationship. When it comes to human-animal relations, there is no “clash of civilizations.” Human prejudice and blindness are predicated on “common sense assumptions” about the natural world and nonhuman animals in particular. Marino & Merskin’s review is part of the growing effort to debunk the assumptions that have shaped human actions so as to end the injustice ...


The Precautionary Principle: A Cautionary Note, Robert C. Jones Sep 2019

The Precautionary Principle: A Cautionary Note, Robert C. Jones

Robert C. Jones, PhD

The precautionary principle regarding animal sentience is often used in decision-making about human actions that may cause harm to nonhuman animals. Birch (2017) develops an account of the precautionary principle requiring two pragmatic rules for its implementation. I support Birch's proposal but offer a cautionary note about relying on precautionary principles if one's ultimate goal is to emancipate animals from human domination.


Fish Sentience Denial: Muddy Moral Water, Robert C. Jones Sep 2019

Fish Sentience Denial: Muddy Moral Water, Robert C. Jones

Robert C. Jones, PhD

Sneddon et al. (2018) authoritatively summarize the compelling and overwhelming evidence for fish sentience, while methodically dismantling one rather emblematic research paper (Diggles et al. 2017) intended to discount solid evidence of fish sentience (Lopez-Luna et al. 2017a, 2017b, 2017c, & 2017d). I explore the larger practical moral contexts within which these debates take place and argue that denials of animal sentience are really moral canards.


Animal Pain And The Social Role Of Science, Leslie Irvine Sep 2019

Animal Pain And The Social Role Of Science, Leslie Irvine

Leslie Irvine, PhD

Assuming that all animals are sentient would mean ending their use in most scientific research. This does not necessarily imply an unscientific or anti-scientific stance. Examining the social role of science reveals its considerable investment in preserving the status quo, including the continued use of animal subjects. From this perspective, the use of animal subjects is a custom that science could move beyond, rather than a methodological requirement that it must defend.


What Is In An Octopus's Mind?, Jennifer Mather Aug 2019

What Is In An Octopus's Mind?, Jennifer Mather

Jennifer Mather, PhD

It is difficult to imagine what an animal as different from us as the octopus ‘thinks’, but we can make some progress. In the Umwelt or perceptual world of an octopus, what the lateralized monocular eyes perceive is not color but the plane of polarization of light. Information is processed by a bilateral brain but manipulation is done by a radially symmetrical set of eight arms. Octopuses do not self-monitor by vision. Their skin pattern system, used for excellent camouflage, is open loop. The output of the motor system of the eight arms is organized at several levels — brain, intrabrachial ...


A Risk Assessment And Phylogenetic Approach, Culum Brown Aug 2019

A Risk Assessment And Phylogenetic Approach, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, PhD

The precautionary principal is often invoked when talking about the evidence of sentience in animals, largely because we can never be certain what any animal is thinking or feeling. Birch (2017) offers a preliminary framework for the use of the precautionary principal for animal sentience combining an epistemic rule with a decision rule. I extend this framework by adding an evolutionary phylogentic approach which spreads the burden of proof across broad taxonomic groups and a risk assessment component which magnifies the likely impact by the number of animals involved.


Ample Evidence For Fish Sentience And Pain, Lynne U. Sneddon, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown Aug 2019

Ample Evidence For Fish Sentience And Pain, Lynne U. Sneddon, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, PhD

The majority of commentaries are supportive of our position on the scepticism that muddies the waters surrounding fish pain and sentience. There is substantial empirical evidence for pain in fish. Animals’ experience of pain cannot be compared to artificial intelligence (AI) because AI can only mimic responses to nociceptive input on the basis of human observations and programming. Accepting that fish are sentient would not be detrimental to the industries reliant on fish. A more proactive discussion between scientists and stakeholders is needed to improve fish welfare for the benefit of all.


Fish Sentience Denial: Muddying The Waters, Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown Aug 2019

Fish Sentience Denial: Muddying The Waters, Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, Culum Brown

Culum Brown, PhD

Recent empirical studies have reported evidence that many aquatic species, including fish, cephalopods and crustaceans, have the capacity for nociception and pain, and that their welfare should be taken into consideration. Some sceptics, rejecting the precautionary principle, have denied that any study demonstrates pain or other aspects of sentience in fish. This target article discusses some of the scientific shortcomings of these critiques through a detailed analysis of a study exploring nociception and analgesia in larval zebrafish.


Fishes Are Gaining Academic Respect, Jonathan Balcombe Jul 2019

Fishes Are Gaining Academic Respect, Jonathan Balcombe

Jonathan Balcombe, PhD

I respond to five commentaries on my 2016 book What a Fish Knows. The commentaries express more harmony than dissent about my interpretation of fishes as cognitive, aware individuals deserving better treatment by humankind.


Chicken Of The Sea, Jonathan Balcombe Jul 2019

Chicken Of The Sea, Jonathan Balcombe

Jonathan Balcombe, PhD

Marino summarizes research showing that chickens perform cognitively and emotionally at a higher level than previously assumed. Here, I describe capacities of teleost fishes that parallel those of chickens, including the ability to recognize human faces, perspective-taking, and referential communication. Research on chickens and on fishes reveals an emerging trend in cognitive ethology: abilities once thought limited to a scant few highly intelligent non-humans may actually occur broadly across taxa.


What Sets Us Apart Could Be Our Salvation, Anne Fawcett, Paul Mcgreevy Jul 2019

What Sets Us Apart Could Be Our Salvation, Anne Fawcett, Paul Mcgreevy

Paul McGreevy, PhD

We agree with Chapman & Huffman that human capacities are often assumed to be unique — or attempts are made to demonstrate uniqueness scientifically — in order to justify the exploitation of animals and ecosystems. To extend the argument that human exceptionalism is against our interests, we recommend adopting the One Welfare framework, according to which animal welfare, environmental sustainability and human wellbeing are inseparably linked. Let us distinguish ourselves from other animals by resisting our short- and mid-term Darwinian inclinations, consuming less, reproducing less, and striving for a much longer-term biological fitness for us all.


Becoming The Good Shepherds, Eze Paez Jun 2019

Becoming The Good Shepherds, Eze Paez

Animal Sentience

It is very important that we clarify what we owe to nonhuman animals. To that end, we need a better understanding of animal cognition and emotion. Marino & Merskin’s target article is a welcome contribution to this project. Sheep, like most other animals, are sentient beings with interests of their own. It is wrong to discriminate against them based on species-membership or cognitive sophistication. We are morally required not to harm them, and to help them have the best possible lives, just as we would be in the case of human beings with similar interests. We must become the good ...


Time To Vary The Formula, Jon Mallatt Jan 2019

Time To Vary The Formula, Jon Mallatt

Animal Sentience

In the past few years, Marino and her colleagues have written a series of comprehensive and helpful review articles on the cognitive, emotional, and social complexity of pigs, chickens, cows, and most recently, sheep. These articles are similarly structured, even formulaic, which has benefits but also limitations. Here, I point out the limitations in order to suggest new directions and contributions for the authors in the future.


Adding Sheep To The Spectrum Of Comparative Psychology, James King Jan 2019

Adding Sheep To The Spectrum Of Comparative Psychology, James King

Animal Sentience

Marino & Merskin’s comprehensive review of cognitive complexity in sheep is a laudable and important contribution to comparative psychology. It is also valuable because it shows promising directions for future research on this neglected species. The relatively small number of neurons in the bovid cerebral cortex indicates that sheep cognitive performance on traditional measures of complex learning is limited. Nevertheless, the social and emotional complexity of sheep underscores the importance of further research into domains including personality and psychological well-being.


Taking Darwinism Seriously, Carsta Simon Jan 2019

Taking Darwinism Seriously, Carsta Simon

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman propose that dropping the categorical distinction between human and nonhuman animals may reduce the atrocious acts of humans towards nonhuman animals, but will it? Taking Darwinism seriously means accepting physical and behavioral continuity across species, including the capacity to feel pain.


More Evidence Of Complex Cognition In Nonhuman Species, Lesley J. Rogers Jan 2019

More Evidence Of Complex Cognition In Nonhuman Species, Lesley J. Rogers

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman have highlighted observations of animals performing, in nature, complex behaviour once thought to be unique to humans. Just as relevant to their argument are examples of cognition shown by domesticated species tested in controlled conditions. These strengthen the case for human/nonhuman similarities in behaviour and cognition. Recent research has brought to our attention the ability of nonhuman species to perform many tasks previously considered to be the hallmark of humans. Even though different species may use different ways of solving these tasks, the very fact that they can do it undermines the notion of human superiority.


Deepening Our Understanding Of Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin Jan 2019

Deepening Our Understanding Of Sheep, Lori Marino, Debra Merskin

Animal Sentience

Our Response is centered on five major themes: (1) our presentation of human mythologies about sheep; (2) the relevance of cognitive complexity (“intelligence”) as a dimension underlying the way people perceive and treat sheep; (3) whether our review is too anthropocentric or anthropomorphic; (4) animal welfare versus animal rights (abolitionism); and (5) whether knowledge and education are enough to change human attitudes and behavior.