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History/traditions: Non-Human Animals

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  1. Healing as an Object: Curation, Sentience, and Slowness.Jan Gresil Kahambing - 2024 - Oxford Public Philosophy 4.
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  2. Are humans the only rational animals?Giacomo Melis & Susana Monsó - 2023 - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    While growing empirical evidence suggests a continuity between human and non-human psychology, many philosophers still think that only humans can act and form beliefs rationally. In this paper, we challenge this claim. We first clarify the notion of rationality. We then focus on the rationality of beliefs and argue that, in the relevant sense, humans are not the only rational animals. We do so by first distinguishing between unreflective and reflective responsiveness to epistemic reasons in belief formation and revision. We (...)
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  3. Rawls and Animal Moral Personality.Guy Baldwin - 2023 - Animals 13:1238.
    The relationship between animal rights and contractarian theories of justice such as that of Rawls has long been vexed. In this article, I contribute to the debate over the possibility of inclusion of animals in Rawls’s theory of justice by critiquing the rationale he gives for their omission: that they do not possess moral personality. Contrary to Rawls’s assumptions, it appears that some animals may possess the moral powers that comprise moral personality, albeit to a lesser extent than most humans. (...)
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  4. Agency, Inventiveness, and Animal Play: Novel Insights into the Active Role of Organisms in Evolution.Mathilde Tahar - 2023 - Spontaneous Generations 11 (1).
    Agency is a central concept in the organisational approach to organisms, which accounts for their internal purposiveness. Recent recognition of the active role played by organisms in evolution has led researchers to use this concept in an evolutionary approach. Agency is then considered in terms of ‘unintentional’ choice: agents choose from a given repertoire the behaviour most appropriate to their goal, with this choice influencing evolutionary pathways. This view, while allowing for the evolutionary role of the activity of organisms, presents (...)
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  5. Normative expectations in human and nonhuman animals.Susana Monsó & Richard Moore - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    We admire Heyes's attempt to develop a mechanistic account of norm cognition. Nonetheless, her account leaves us unsure of whom Heyes counts as normative agents, and on what grounds. Therefore we ask a series of questions designed to clarify which features of Heyes's account she thinks are necessary and sufficient for norm cognition.
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  6. The Evolutionary Foundations of Common Ground.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - In Bart Geurts & Richard Moore (eds.), Evolutionary Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    (Penultimate Draft). I consider common ground in its evolutionary context and argue for several claims. First, common ground is widely (though not universally) distributed among social animals. Second, the use of common ground is favored (i.e. is predicted to emerge and subsequently persist) among populations of animals whose members face recurrent interdependent decision-making problems in which the benefit of their courses of action are contingent on the variable choices of their stable social partner(s). Third, humans deploy cognitive and social mechanisms (...)
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  7. What could cognition be, if not human cognition?: Individuating cognitive abilities in the light of evolution.Carrie Figdor - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (6):1-21.
    I argue that an explicit distinction between cognitive characters and cognitive phenotypes is needed for empirical progress in the cognitive sciences and their integration with evolution-guided sciences. I elaborate what ontological commitment to characters involves and how such a commitment would clarify ongoing debates about the relations between human and nonhuman cognition and the extent of cognitive abilities across biological species. I use theoretical proposals in episodic memory, language, and sociocultural bases of cognition to illustrate how cognitive characters are being (...)
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  8. How to Tell If Animals Can Understand Death.Susana Monsó - 2019 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):117-136.
    It is generally assumed that humans are the only animals who can possess a concept of death. However, the ubiquity of death in nature and the evolutionary advantages that would come with an understanding of death provide two prima facie reasons for doubting this assumption. In this paper, my intention is not to defend that animals of this or that nonhuman species possess a concept of death, but rather to examine how we could go about empirically determining whether animals can (...)
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  9. The problem of interspecies welfare comparisons (preprint).Heather Browning - manuscript
    One of the biggest problems in applications of animal welfare science is our ability to make comparisons between different individuals, particularly different species. Although welfare science provides methods for measuring the welfare of individual animals, there’s no established method for comparing measures between individuals. This problem occurs because of the underdetermination of the conclusions given the data, arising from two sources of variation that we cannot distinguish – variation in the underlying target variable (welfare experience) and in the relationship of (...)
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  10. Communication before communicative intentions.Josh Armstrong - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):26-50.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  11. Noble Animals, Brutish Animals.Marcus Hunt - 2021 - Between the Species 24 (1):70-92.
    The paper begins with a description of a grey seal performing conspecific infanticide. The paper then gives an account of “nobleness” and “brutishness.” Roughly, a behavioural-disposition is noble/brutish if it is one that would be a moral virtue/vice if the possessor of the behavioural-disposition were a moral agent. The paper then advances two pairs of axiological claims. The first pair of claims is that nobleness is good and that brutishness is bad. The second pair of claims is about an axiological (...)
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  12. Animal moral psychologies.Susana Monsó & Kristin Andrews - 2022 - In Manuel Vargas & John Doris (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
    Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behavior have led academics and the public alike to ask whether morality is shared between humans and other animals. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other philosophers argue that some animals can participate in morality because they possess these capacities in a rudimentary form. Scientists have also joined the discussion, and their views are just as varied as (...)
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  13. Animal Affects: Spinoza and the Frontiers of the Human.Hasana Sharp - 2011 - Journal for Critical Animal Studies 9 (1-2):48-68.
    Like any broad narrative about the history of ideas, this one involves a number of simplifications. My hope is that by taking a closer look Spinoza's notorious remarks on animals, we can understand better why it becomes especially urgent in this period as well as our own for philosophers to emphasize a distinction between human and nonhuman animals. In diagnosing the concerns that give rise to the desire to dismiss the independent purposes of animals, we may come to focus on (...)
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Critical Animal Studies
  1. Ethical Extensionism Defended.Joel MacClellan - 2024 - Between the Species 27 (1):140-178.
    Ethical extensionism is a common argument pattern in environmental and animal ethics, which takes a morally valuable trait already recognized in us and argues that we should recognize that value in other entities such as nonhuman animals. I exposit ethical extensionism’s core argument, argue for its validity and soundness, and trace its history to 18th century progressivist calls to expand the moral community and legal franchise. However, ethical extensionism has its critics. The bulk of the paper responds to recent criticisms, (...)
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  2. More Ethics Than Politics, More Animals Than Species.Joel MacClellan - 2016 - Humanimalia 8 (1):120-30.
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  3. Review of The Imaginary of Animals by Annabelle Dufourcq. [REVIEW]Chandler D. Rogers - 2023 - Environmental Philosophy 20 (1):163-169.
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  4. Human-Animal Relationships and Animal Ethics in Crisis: A New Way Out? “Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory” by Alice Crary and Lori Gruen. [REVIEW]Konstantin Deininger - 2023 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 36 (2):1-5.
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  5. The importance of end-of-life welfare.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2022 - Animal Frontiers 12 (1):8–15.
    The conditions of transport and slaughter at the end of their lives are a major challenge to the welfare of agricultural animals. • End-of-life experiences should be of a greater ethical concern than others of similar intensity and duration, due to their position in the animal’s life. • End-of-life welfare can have both internal importance to the animals and external ethical importance to human decision-makers. • We should pay extra care to ensure that the conditions during transport and slaughter are (...)
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  6. Being Consistently Biocentric: On the (Im)possibility of Spinozist Animal Ethics.Chandler D. Rogers - 2021 - Journal for Critical Animal Studies 18 (1):52-72.
    Spinoza’s attitude toward nonhuman animals is uncharacteristically cruel. This essay elaborates upon this ostensible idiosyncrasy in reference to Hasana Sharp’s commendable desire to revitalize a basis for animal ethics from within the bounds of his system. Despite our favoring an ethics beginning from animal affect, this essay argues that an animal ethic adequate to the demands of our historical moment cannot be developed from within the confines of strict adherence to Spinoza’s system—and this is not yet to speak of a (...)
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  7. Beyond Biosecurity.Chandler D. Rogers - 2018 - Environmental Philosophy 15 (1):7-19.
    As boundaries between domesticity and the undomesticated increasingly blur for cohabitants of Vancouver Island, home to North America’s densest cougar population, predatorial problems become more and more pressing. Rosemary-Claire Collard responds on a pragmatic plane, arguing that the encounter between human and cougar is only ever destructive, that contact results in death and almost always for the cougar. Advocating for vigilance in policing boundaries separating cougar from civilization, therefore, she looks to Foucault’s analysis of modern biopower in the first volume (...)
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  8. Review of Jean-Christophe Bailly, The Animal Side. [REVIEW]Chandler D. Rogers - 2016 - Between the Species 19 (1):215-220.
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  9. Le partage du monde: Husserl et la constitution des animaux comme "autres moi".Christiane Bailey - 2013 - Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty’s Thought 15:219-250.
    Alors que les phénoménologues prétendent avoir dépassé le solipsisme, la plupart n’ont en fait que repousser les frontières de l’intersubjectivité des individus humains aux individus des autres espèces. Pourtant, Husserl reconnaît l’existence d’une intersubjectivité interspécifique, c’est-à-dire d’une intersubjectivité dépassant les limites de l’espèce. Il va même jusqu’à affirmer qu’on comprend parfois mieux un animal familier qu’un humain étranger. Toutefois, même s’il admet que plusieurs animaux sont capables d’une vie de conscience subjective et qu’ils vivent dans un monde de sens partagé, (...)
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Non-Human Animals, Misc
  1. Diversity and inclusion for rodents: how animal ethics committees can help improve translation.Piotrowska Monika - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 1.
    Translation failure occurs when a treatment shown to be safe and effective in one type of population does not produce the same result in another. We are currently in a crisis involving the translatability of preclinical studies to human populations. Animal trials are no better than a coin toss at predicting the safety and efficacy of drugs in human trials, and the high failure rate of drugs entering human trials suggests that most of the suffering of laboratory animals is futile, (...)
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  2. Integrating Evolution into the Study of Animal Sentience.Walter Veit - 2022 - Animal Sentience 32 (30):1-4.
    Like many others, I see Crump et al. (2022) as a milestone for improving upon previous guidelines and for extending their framework to decapod crustaceans. Their proposal would benefit from a firm evolutionary foundation by adding the comparative measurement of life-history complexity as a ninth criterion for attributing sentience to nonhuman animals.
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  3. The importance of end-of-life welfare.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2022 - Animal Frontiers 12 (1):8–15.
    The conditions of transport and slaughter at the end of their lives are a major challenge to the welfare of agricultural animals. • End-of-life experiences should be of a greater ethical concern than others of similar intensity and duration, due to their position in the animal’s life. • End-of-life welfare can have both internal importance to the animals and external ethical importance to human decision-makers. • We should pay extra care to ensure that the conditions during transport and slaughter are (...)
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  4. Evolutionary origin of emotions: Continuity between animals and humans.Zorana Todorovic - 2014 - Glasnik Za Društvene Nauke 6 (2014):45-62.
    This paper discusses the evolutionary origin and adaptive functions of emotions, in line with contemporary evolutionary psychology. Drawing upon Charles Darwin’s study of emotional expressions, it is argued that there is an evolutionary continuity among animals in emotional capacities, and that the differences between humans and animals are differences in degree and not in kind. The focus is on basic or primary emotions (joy, fear, sadness, anger), as it has been consistently shown that they are universal and shared among many (...)
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  5. à corps: The corpus of deconstruction.Thomas Clément Mercier - 2019 - Parallax 25 (2):111-118.
    This article pursues the exploration of how contemporary works of deconstruction can challenge preconceptions of the body and embodiments and interrogate their limits, particularly in relation to intertwined foldings of desire, gender, race and sexuality. Through readings of Jacques Derrida and Sarah Kofman, the authors show that deconstruction allows for an understanding of the body or bodies that goes beyond the present body — indexed as human, male, white, able, living body — thus opening up towards the thinking of bodies (...)
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  6. Institution as the Model of Meaning: Gehlen and Merleau-Ponty on the Question of Anthropology.Jiří Klouda & Jan Halák - 2018 - Filosoficky Casopis 66 (6):869-888.
    [This paper is written in Czech language.] The aim of the article is to re-evaluate the still-surviving anthropological trope which, in reaction to an inquiry into the essence of man, compares humans with animals and points to culture as the means by which humans complete their “deficient” nature. This motif contrasting humans with animals has been extended by A. Gehlen who characterises humans as “beings of deficiencies”. In his view, the morphological-instinctive insufficiency of the human being must be stabilised by (...)
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  7. Approaching Other Animals with Caution: Exploring Insights from Aquinas's Psychology.Daniel D. De Haan - 2019 - New Blackfriars 100 (1090):715-737.
    In this essay I explore the resources Thomas Aquinas provides for enquiries concerning the psychological abilities of nonhuman animals. I first look to Aquinas’s account of divine, angelic, human, and nonhuman animal naming, to help us articulate the contours of a ‘critical anthropocentrism’ that aims to steer clear of the mistakes of a na¨ıve anthropocentrism and misconceived avowals to entirely eschew anthropocentrism. I then address the need for our critical anthropocentrism both to reject the mental-physical dichotomy endorsed by ‘folk psychology’ (...)
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  8. Animals.Gary Hatfield - 2008 - In Janet Broughton & John Carriero (eds.), Companion to Descartes. Blackwell. pp. 404–425.
    This chapter considers philosophical problems concerning non-human (and sometimes human) animals, including their metaphysical, physical, and moral status, their origin, what makes them alive, their functional organization, and the basis of their sensitive and cognitive capacities. I proceed by assuming what most of Descartes’s followers and interpreters have held: that Descartes proposed that animals lack sentience, feeling, and genuinely cognitive representations of things. (Some scholars interpret Descartes differently, denying that he excluded sentience, feeling, and representation from animals, and I consider (...)
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  9. Organismic Spatiality: Toward a Metaphysic of Composition.Tano S. Posteraro - 2014 - Environment and Planning D 32 (4):739-752.
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  10. On the Utility of Virtuality for Relating Abilities and Affordances.Tano S. Posteraro - 2014 - Ecological Psychology 26 (4):353-367.
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  11. Beyond assimilationism and differentialism: Comment on Glock.Geert Keil - 2012 - In Elif Özmen & Julian Nida-Rümelin (eds.), Welt der Gründe. Meiner.
    In a number of articles, Hans-Johann Glock has argued against the »lingualist« view that higher mental capacities are a prerogative of language-users. He has defended the »assimilationist« claim that the mental capacities of humans and of non-human animals differ only in degree. In the paper under discussion, Glock argues that animals are capable of acting for reasons, provided that reasons are construed along the lines of the new »objectivist« theory of practical reasons. The paper critizices these views.
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  12. From Panexperientialism to Conscious Experience: The Continuum of Experience.Gregory M. Nixon - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (3):216-233.
    When so much is being written on conscious experience, it is past time to face the question whether experience happens that is not conscious of itself. The recognition that we and most other living things experience non-consciously has recently been firmly supported by experimental science, clinical studies, and theoretic investigations; the related if not identical philosophic notion of experience without a subject has a rich pedigree. Leaving aside the question of how experience could become conscious of itself, I aim here (...)
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