Results for 'animal consciousness'

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  1.  70
    Animal Consciousness: The Interplay of Neural and Behavioural Evidence.Andrew Crump & Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):104-128.
    We consider the relationship between neural and behavioural evidence for animal consciousness. We critically examine two recent studies: one neural and one behavioural. The first, on crows, finds different neural activity depending on whether a stimulus is reported as seen or unseen. However, to implicate this neural activity in consciousness, we must assume that a specific conditioned behaviour is a report of conscious experience. The second study, on macaques, records behaviours strikingly similar to patterns of conscious and (...)
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  2. Dimensions of Animal Consciousness.Jonathan Birch, Alexandra K. Schnell & Nicola S. Clayton - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24 (10):789-801.
    How does consciousness vary across the animal kingdom? Are some animals ‘more conscious’ than others? This article presents a multidimensional framework for understanding interspecies variation in states of consciousness. The framework distinguishes five key dimensions of variation: perceptual richness, evaluative richness, integration at a time, integration across time, and self-consciousness. For each dimension, existing experiments that bear on it are reviewed and future experiments are suggested. By assessing a given species against each dimension, we can construct (...)
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  3.  43
    Assessing Tests of Animal Consciousness.Leonard Dung - 2022 - Consciousness and Cognition 105:103410.
    Which animals have conscious experiences? Many different, diverse and unrelated behaviors and cognitive capacities have been proposed as tests of the presence of consciousness in an animal. It is unclear which of these tests, if any, are valid. To remedy this problem, I develop a list consisting of eight desiderata which can be used to assess putative tests of animal consciousness. These desiderata are based either on detailed analogies between consciousness-linked human behavior and non-human behavior, (...)
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  4. Global Workspace Theory and Animal Consciousness.Jonathan Birch - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):21-37.
    Peter Carruthers has recently argued for a surprising conditional: if a global workspace theory of phenomenal consciousness is both correct and fully reductive, then there are no substantive facts to discover about phenomenal consciousness in nonhuman animals. I present two problems for this conditional. First, it rests on an odd double-standard about the ordinary concept of phenomenal consciousness: its intuitive non-gradability is taken to be unchallengeable by future scientific developments, whereas its intuitive determinacy is predicted to fall (...)
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  5. How Should We Study Animal Consciousness Scientifically?Jonathan Birch, Donald M. Broom, Heather Browning, Andrew Crump, Simona Ginsburg, Marta Halina, David Harrison, Eva Jablonka, Andrew Y. Lee, François Kammerer, Colin Klein, Victor Lamme, Matthias Michel, Françoise Wemelsfelder & Oryan Zacks - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):8-28.
    This editorial introduces the Journal of Consciousness Studies special issue on "Animal Consciousness". The 15 contributors and co-editors answer the question "How should we study animal consciousness scientifically?" in 500 words or fewer.
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  6. Animal Consciousness (Routledge Handbook of Consciousness Ch.29).Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2018 - In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Consciousness. Routledge.
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  7. Animal Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2018 - Springer: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior.
    This chapter addresses the extent to which nonhuman animals are conscious. Most important perhaps is what criteria should be used in making such a determination.
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  8. Animal Consciousness In Hegel's Philosophy Of Subjective Spirit.Heikki Ikäheimo - 2010 - Hegel-Jahrbuch 2010 (1):180-185.
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  9. Cognitive Neuroscience and Animal Consciousness.Matteo Grasso - 2014 - In Sofia Bonicalzi, Leonardo Caffo & Mattia Sorgon (eds.), Naturalism and Constructivism in Metaethics. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 182-203.
    The problem of animal consciousness has profound implications on our concept of nature and of our place in the natural world. In philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience the problem of animal consciousness raises two main questions (Velmans, 2007): the distribution question (“are there conscious animals beside humans?”) and the phenomenological question (“what is it like to be a non-human animal?”). In order to answer these questions, many approaches take into account similarities and dissimilarities in (...)
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  10. What Are Animals Conscious Of?Alain Morin (ed.) - 2012 - Columbia Press.
    There is little doubt that animals are ―conscious‖. Animals hunt prey, escape predators, explore new environments, eat, mate, learn, feel, and so forth. If one defines consciousness as being aware of external events and experiencing mental states such as sensations and emotions (Natsoulas, 1978), then gorillas, dogs, bears, horses, pigs, pheasants, cats, rabbits, snakes, magpies, wolves, elephants, and lions, to name a few creatures, clearly qualify. The contentious issue rather is: Do these animals know that they are perceiving an (...)
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  11. Should Animal Welfare Be Defined in Terms of Consciousness?Jonathan Birch - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-11.
    Definitions of animal welfare often invoke consciousness or sentience. Marian Stamp Dawkins has argued that to define animal welfare this way is a mistake. On Dawkins’s alternative view, an animal with good welfare is one that is healthy and “has what it wants”. The dispute highlights a source of strain on the concept of animal welfare: consciousness-involving definitions are better able to capture the normative significance of welfare, whereas consciousness-free definitions facilitate the validation (...)
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  12. Separating Conscious and Unconscious Perception in Animals.Andrew Crump & Jonathan Birch - 2021 - Learning and Behavior 49 (4).
    In a new study, Ben-Haim et al. use subliminal stimuli to separate conscious and unconscious perception in macaques. A programme of this type, using a range of cognitive tasks, is a promising way to look for conscious perception in more controversial cases.
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  13.  66
    Bernard E. Rollin, The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain, and Science Reviewed By. [REVIEW]Jason Kawall - 1999 - Philosophy in Review 19 (4):281-282.
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  14. Consciousness, Ideas of Ideas and Animation in Spinoza’s Ethics.Oberto Marrama - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (3):506-525.
    In the following article, I aim to elucidate the meaning and scope of Spinoza’s vocabulary related to ‘consciousness’. I argue that Spinoza, at least in his Ethics, uses this notion consistently, although rarely. He introduces it to account for the knowledge we may have of the mind considered alone, as conceptually distinct from the body. This serves two purposes in Spinoza’s Ethics: to explain our illusion of a free will, on the one hand, and to refer to the knowledge (...)
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  15. Epistemology of Measurement in Non-Human Animal Consciousness.Pater Ciprian - 2022 - Dissertation, Univeristy of Agder
    As I assume to begin with, animals with a high level of consciousness, are those beings which are more dependent on their materialistic ecological circumstances than those with less cognition. The most obvious support for this factual claim is the yet still unofficial unit of geological time named the Anthropocene Epoch demarcating human devastation of earthly resources, whereby there is no doubt which species on earth is the most materially dependent. Notwithstanding, we need to keep things quantitively in perspective. (...)
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  16. Consciousness as an Adaptation. What Animals Feel and Why.Pouwel Slurink - 2016 - In Andreas Blank (ed.), Animals. New Essays. Munich: Philosophia Verlag. pp. 303-332.
    Evolutionary epistemology (Lorenz, Vollmer) and value-driven decision theory (Pugh) are used to explain the fundamental properties of consciousness. It is shown that this approach is compatible with global workspace theory (Baars) and global neuronal workspace theory (De Haene). The emotions are, however, that what drives consciousness. A hypothetical evolutionary tree of the emotions is given – intended to show that consciousness evolves and is probably qualitatively different in different groups of animals.
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  17. Quantum Consciousness in Animals.Contzen Pereira - 2015 - Journal of Metaphysics and Connected Consciousness 2.
    Consciousness occurs when one is in a state of awareness of one’s self and the external environment. Quantum consciousness is computed within the cytoskeleton of the cells; basic units of life which comprise of unicellular and multicellular animal life. Consciousness has always been linked to the nervous system but there are several studies that have recorded conscious behaviors in animals with and without nerve cells. Animal behavior is represented as conscious moment, which occurs due to (...)
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  18. Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest, by Peter Carruthers. [REVIEW]Matthias Michel - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (4):619–623.
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  19. Animal Sentience and the Precautionary Principle.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Animal Sentience 2:16(1).
    In debates about animal sentience, the precautionary principle is often invoked. The idea is that when the evidence of sentience is inconclusive, we should “give the animal the benefit of the doubt” or “err on the side of caution” in formulating animal protection legislation. Yet there remains confusion as to whether it is appropriate to apply the precautionary principle in this context, and, if so, what “applying the precautionary principle” means in practice regarding the burden of proof (...)
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  20. The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition.Kristin Andrews - 2014 - Routledge.
    The study of animal cognition raises profound questions about the minds of animals and philosophy of mind itself. Aristotle argued that humans are the only animal to laugh, but in recent experiments rats have also been shown to laugh. In other experiments, dogs have been shown to respond appropriately to over two hundred words in human language. In this introduction to the philosophy of animal minds Kristin Andrews introduces and assesses the essential topics, problems and debates as (...)
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  21. What Do We Need to Know to Know That Animals Are Conscious of What They Know?Gary Comstock - 2019 - Animal Behavior and Cognition 6 (4):289-308.
    In this paper I argue for the following six claims: 1) The problem is that some think metacognition and consciousness are dissociable. 2) The solution is not to revive associationist explanations; 3) …nor is the solution to identify metacognition with Carruthers’ gatekeeping mechanism. 4) The solution is to define conscious metacognition; 5) … devise an empirical test for it in humans; and 6) … apply it to animals.
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  22. The Search for Invertebrate Consciousness.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):133-153.
    There is no agreement on whether any invertebrates are conscious and no agreement on a methodology that could settle the issue. How can the debate move forward? I distinguish three broad types of approach: theory-heavy, theory-neutral and theory-light. Theory-heavy and theory-neutral approaches face serious problems, motivating a middle path: the theory-light approach. At the core of the theory-light approach is a minimal commitment about the relation between phenomenal consciousness and cognition that is compatible with many specific theories of (...): the hypothesis that phenomenally conscious perception of a stimulus facilitates, relative to unconscious perception, a cluster of cognitive abilities in relation to that stimulus. This “facilitation hypothesis” can productively guide inquiry into invertebrate consciousness. What is needed? At this stage, not more theory, and not more undirected data gathering. What is needed is a systematic search for consciousness-linked cognitive abilities, their relationships to each other, and their sensitivity to masking. (shrink)
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  23. Drawing the Boundaries of Animal Sentience.Walter Veit & Bryce Huebner - 2020 - Animal Sentience 13 (29).
    We welcome Mikhalevich & Powell’s (2020) (M&P) call for a more “‘inclusive”’ animal ethics, but we think their proposed shift toward a moral framework that privileges false positives over false negatives will require radically revising the paradigm assumption in animal research: that there is a clear line to be drawn between sentient beings that are part of our moral community and nonsentient beings that are not.
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  24. Nonhuman Animals: Not Necessarily Saints or Sinners.C. E. Abbate - 2014 - Between the Species 17 (1):1-30.
    Higher-order thought theories maintain that consciousness involves the having of higher-order thoughts about mental states. In response to these theories of consciousness, an attempt is often made to illustrate that nonhuman animals possess said consciousness, overlooking an alarming consequence: attributing higher-order thought to nonhuman animals might entail that they should be held morally accountable for their actions. I argue that moral responsibility requires more than higher-order thought: moral agency requires a specific higher-order thought which concerns a belief (...)
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  25. Animals and Objectivity.Colin McLear - 2020 - In Lucy Allais & John Callanan (eds.), Kant and Animals. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 42-65.
    Starting from the assumption that Kant allows for the possible existence of conscious sensory states in non-rational animals, I examine the textual and philosophical grounds for his acceptance of the possibility that such states are also 'objective'. I elucidate different senses of what might be meant in crediting a cognitive state as objective. I then put forward and defend an interpretation according to which the cognitive states of animals, though extremely limited on Kant's view, are nevertheless minimally objective.
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  26.  68
    Animal Sentience.Heather Browning & Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12822.
    ‘Sentience’ sometimes refers to the capacity for any type of subjective experience, and sometimes to the capacity to have subjective experiences with a positive or negative valence, such as pain or pleasure. We review recent controversies regarding sentience in fish and invertebrates and consider the deep methodological challenge posed by these cases. We then present two ways of responding to the challenge. In a policy-making context, precautionary thinking can help us treat animals appropriately despite continuing uncertainty about their sentience. In (...)
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  27. Subjective Experience in Explanations of Animal PTSD Behavior.Kate Nicole Hoffman - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):155-175.
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition in which the experience of a traumatic event causes a series of psychiatric and behavioral symptoms such as hypervigilance, insomnia, irritability, aggression, constricted affect, and self-destructive behavior. This paper investigates two case studies to argue that the experience of PTSD is not restricted to humans alone; we have good epistemic reason to hold that some animals can experience genuine PTSD, given our current and best clinical understanding of the disorder in humans. I (...)
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  28. Animated Persona: The Ontological Status of a Deceased Person Who Continues to Appear in This World.Masahiro Morioka - 2021 - European Journal of Japanese Philosophy 6:115-131.
    In this paper, I propose the concept of the “animated persona,” a soundless voice that says, “I am here” and appears on the surface of someone or something. This concept can bring clarity to the experience of perceiving a kind of personhood on a corpse, a wooden mask, or even a tree. In the first half of this paper, I will examine some Japanese literature and a work of Viktor Frankl’s that discuss these phenomena. In the second half, I will (...)
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  29. Animal Rights: A Non‐Consequentialist Approach.Uriah Kriegel - 2013 - In K. Petrus & M. Wild (eds.), Animal Minds and Animal Ethics. Transcript.
    It is a curious fact about mainstream discussions of animal rights that they are dominated by consequentialist defenses thereof, when consequentialism in general has been on the wane in other areas of moral philosophy. In this paper, I describe an alternative, non‐consequentialist ethical framework and argue that it grants animals more expansive rights than consequentialist proponents of animal rights typically grant. The cornerstone of this non‐consequentialist framework is the thought that the virtuous agent is s/he who has the (...)
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  30.  98
    Consciousness and Moral Status.Joshua Shepherd - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    It seems obvious that phenomenally conscious experience is something of great value, and that this value maps onto a range of important ethical issues. For example, claims about the value of life for those in a permanent vegetative state, debates about treatment and study of disorders of consciousness, controversies about end-of-life care for those with advanced dementia, and arguments about the moral status of embryos, fetuses, and non-human animals arguably turn on the moral significance of various facts about (...). However, though work has been done on the moral significance of elements of consciousness, such as pain and pleasure, little explicit attention has been devoted to the ethical significance of consciousness. In this book Joshua Shepherd presents a systematic account of the value present within conscious experience. This account emphasizes not only the nature of consciousness, but the importance of items within experience such as affect, valence, and the complex overall shape of particular valuable experiences. Shepherd also relates this account to difficult cases involving non-humans and those with disorders of consciousness, arguing that the value of consciousness influences and partially explains the degree of moral status a being possesses, without fully determining it. The upshot is a deeper understanding of both the moral importance of phenomenal consciousness and its relations to moral status. This book will be of great interest to philosophers and students of ethics, bioethics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind and cognitive science. (shrink)
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  31. Phenomenology Applied to Animal Health and Suffering.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2021 - In Susi Ferrarello (ed.), Phenomenology of Bioethics: Technoethics and Lived Experience. Springer. pp. 73-88.
    What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to be sick? These two questions are much closer to one another than has hitherto been acknowledged. Indeed, both raise a number of related, albeit very complex, philosophical problems. In recent years, the phenomenology of health and disease has become a major topic in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, owing much to the work of Havi Carel (2007, 2011, 2018). Surprisingly little attention, however, has been given to (...)
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  32. Animals as Reflexive Thinkers: The Aponoian Paradigm.Mark Rowlands & Susana Monsó - 2017 - In Linda Kalof (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 319-341.
    The ability to engage in reflexive thought—in thought about thought or about other mental states more generally—is regarded as a complex intellectual achievement that is beyond the capacities of most nonhuman animals. To the extent that reflexive thought capacities are believed necessary for the possession of many other psychological states or capacities, including consciousness, belief, emotion, and empathy, the inability of animals to engage in reflexive thought calls into question their other psychological abilities. This chapter attacks the idea that (...)
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  33. Consciousness and its Contents: A Response to de Quincey.Gilberto Gomes - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (3):107-112.
    'Consciousness' is used in different ways, but not all of these uses reflect clear concepts. In his target article Christian de Quincey (2006) notes that confusion about consciousness is widespread and sets out to distinguish two main meanings of the word. However, his treatment of the subject is confused and the proposed distinction misses the point. I argue that the effort to clarify the meaning of consciousness should proceed in a different direction. We should first find some (...)
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  34. Consciousness: A Four-Fold Taxonomy.J. Jonkisz - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (11-12):55-82.
    This paper argues that the many and various conceptions of consciousness propounded by cognitive scientists and philosophers can all be understood as constituted with reference to four fundamental sorts of criterion: epistemic (concerned with kinds of consciousness), semantic (dealing with orders of consciousness), physiological (reflecting states of consciousness), and pragmatic (seeking to capture types of consciousness). The resulting four-fold taxonomy, intended to be exhaustive, suggests that all of the distinct varieties of consciousness currently encountered (...)
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  35. Strong Neurophilosophy and the Matter of Bat Consciousness: A Case Study.Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):57-76.
    In “What is it like to be boring and myopic?” Kathleen Akins offers an interesting, empirically driven, argument for thinking that there is nothing that it is like to be a bat. She suggests that bats are “boring” in the sense that they are governed by behavioral scripts and simple, non-representational, control loops, and are best characterized as biological automatons. Her approach has been well received by philosophers sympathetic to empirically informed philosophy of mind. But, despite its influence, her work (...)
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  36. The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
    Recent work within such disparate research areas as the epistemology of perception, theories of well-being, animal and medical ethics, the philosophy of consciousness, and theories of understanding in philosophy of science and epistemology has featured disconnected discussions of what is arguably a single underlying question: What is the value of consciousness? The purpose of this paper is to review some of this work and place it within a unified theoretical framework that makes contributions (and contributors) from these (...)
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  37. Artificial Consciousness: From Impossibility to Multiplicity.Chuanfei Chin - 2017 - In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017. Berlin: Springer. pp. 3-18.
    How has multiplicity superseded impossibility in philosophical challenges to artificial consciousness? I assess a trajectory in recent debates on artificial consciousness, in which metaphysical and explanatory challenges to the possibility of building conscious machines lead to epistemological concerns about the multiplicity underlying ‘what it is like’ to be a conscious creature or be in a conscious state. First, I analyse earlier challenges which claim that phenomenal consciousness cannot arise, or cannot be built, in machines. These are based (...)
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  38. Hypothesis of Buddhism Activity of Freeing Captive Animals in Huge Amount May Have Quantum Superposition Effects of Consciousness and Lead to Discernible Placebo Effects.Huayue Kang - 2017 - Journal of Brief Ideas 1 (1):1.
    1: Placebo effect sometimes plausibly has powerful effects. 2: Buddhism philosophy holds that every living animal is sentient, and has a consciousness and killing them is bad for the killer and freeing them is good somehow. Consciousness may involve some aspects of quantum mechanism as Roger Penrose’s Orch OR' theory of consciousness pointed out. -/- 3: Although previous studies show that there is no “demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer. Anecdotal cases of a special kind of (...)
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  39. The Measurement Problem of Consciousness.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):85-108.
    This paper addresses what we consider to be the most pressing challenge for the emerging science of consciousness: the measurement problem of consciousness. That is, by what methods can we determine the presence of and properties of consciousness? Most methods are currently developed through evaluation of the presence of consciousness in humans and here we argue that there are particular problems in application of these methods to nonhuman cases—what we call the indicator validity problem and the (...)
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  40. A Practice‐Focused Case for Animal Moral Agency.Dorna Behdadi - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (2):226-243.
    Considerations of nonhuman animal moral agency typically base their reasoning and (very often negative) verdict on a capacity‐focused approach to moral agency. According to this approach, an entity is a moral agent if it has certain intrapersonal features or capacities, typically in terms of conscious reflection and deliberation. According to a practice‐focused notion of moral agency, however, an entity is a moral agent in virtue of being a participant of a moral responsibility practice (MRP). I argue that a practice‐focused (...)
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  41. Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate (...)
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  42.  99
    Review of Peter Carruthers' Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest. [REVIEW]David Villena - 2020 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 24.
    Review of Peter Carruther's Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest.
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  43. Conscious States: Where Are They in the Brain and What Are Their Necessary Ingredients?William Hirstein - 2013 - Mens Sana Monographs 11 (1):230-238.
    One of the final obstacles to understanding consciousness in physical terms concerns the question of whether conscious states can exist in posterior regions of the brain without active connections to the brain's prefrontal lobes. If they can, difficult issues concerning our knowledge of our conscious states can be resolved. This paper contains a list of types of conscious states that may meet this criterion, including states of coma, states in which subjects are absorbed in a perceptual task, states in (...)
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  44. Meier, Reimarus and Kant on Animal Minds.Jacob Browning - 2021 - Kantian Review 26 (2):185-208.
    Close attention to Kant’s comments on animal minds has resulted in radically different readings of key passages in Kant. A major disputed text for understanding Kant on animals is his criticism of G. F. Meier’s view in the 1762 ‘False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures’. In this article, I argue that Kant’s criticism of Meier should be read as an intervention into an ongoing debate between Meier and H. S. Reimarus on animal minds. Specifically, while broadly aligning (...)
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  45.  78
    In Search of the Origins of Consciousness[REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2020 - Acta Biotheoretica 68 (2):287-294.
    The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul is a landmark attempt to make progress on the problem of animal consciousness. Ginsburg and Jablonka propose a general cognitive marker of the presence of consciousness: Unlimited Associative Learning. They use this marker to defend a generous view about the distribution of consciousness in the natural world, on which a capacity for conscious experience is common to all vertebrates, many arthropods and some cephalopod molluscs. They use this inferred distribution to (...)
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  46. The Moral Status of Conscious Subjects.Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - In Stephen Clarke, Hazem Zohny & Julian Savulescu (eds.), Rethinking Moral Status.
    The chief themes of this discussion are as follows. First, we need a theory of the grounds of moral status that could guide practical considerations regarding how to treat the wide range of potentially conscious entities with which we are acquainted – injured humans, cerebral organoids, chimeras, artificially intelligent machines, and non-human animals. I offer an account of phenomenal value that focuses on the structure and sophistication of phenomenally conscious states at a time and over time in the mental lives (...)
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  47. Consciousness Results When Communication Modifies the Form of Self-Estimated Fitness.J. H. van Hateren - manuscript
    The origin and development of consciousness is poorly understood. Although it is clearly a naturalistic phenomenon evolved through Darwinian evolution, explaining it in terms of physicochemical, neural, or symbolic mechanisms remains elusive. Here I propose that two steps had to be taken in its evolution. First, living systems evolved an intrinsic goal-directedness by internalizing Darwinian fitness as a self-estimated fitness. The self-estimated fitness participates in a feedback loop that effectively produces intrinsic meaning in the organism. Second, animals with advanced (...)
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  48. Consciousness of Oneself as Object and as Subject. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach (TSC 2014).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    We humans experience ourselves as objects and as subjects. The distinction initiated by Kant between consciousness of oneself as object and consciousness of oneself as subject was a strict one. The rigidity of that distinction has been challenged by philosophers from the continental and the analytic traditions [1]. From another perspective, researches about animal self-awareness are widening the horizon of studies relative to the nature of self-consciousness [2]. These various perspectives introduce the interest about addressing (...) of oneself as object and as subject in an evolutionary background. We propose here to follow that path by using an existing scenario about the evolutionary nature of self-consciousness based on evolutions of representations and of inter-subjectivity [3, 4]. The scenario presents an evolutionary approach that can introduce self-consciousness as an acting body and self-consciousness as a thinking and feeling entity. These two aspects of self-consciousness are then compared to consciousness of oneself as object and as subject. The scenario proposes that an evolution of inter-subjectivity brought our pre-human ancestors to reach the capability of identifying with their conspecifics. This process coupled with an evolution of representations led our ancestors to build up representations of themselves as entities existing in the environment, like the conspecifics they identified with were represented. As conspecifics were perceived as existing and acting in the environment, identifying with them led to an elementary version of self-consciousness as an acting body, close to self-consciousness as object. Also, as different conspecifics could display very different behaviors like dominant or submitted, it was not possible to identify with them spontaneously. Knowing and understanding one's own identity as perceived by other members of the group was necessary for a pertinent identification with conspecifics. Such need to think about one's own characteristics and identity introduced self-consciousness as a thinking and feeling entity, close to an elementary version of self-consciousness as subject. In addition, the mental states of the thinking and feeling subject monitoring the actions of the body object address the common evolutionary source for consciousness of oneself as object and as subject. We present here that evolutionary approach to consciousness of oneself as object and as subject with the corresponding phylogenetic outcomes relative to the mind-body problem. Continuations are proposed. (shrink)
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  49. The Replaceability Argument in the Ethics of Animal Husbandry.Nicolas Delon - 2016 - Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics.
    Most people agree that inflicting unnecessary suffering upon animals is wrong. Many fewer people, including among ethicists, agree that painlessly killing animals is necessarily wrong. The most commonly cited reason is that death (without pain, fear, distress) is not bad for them in a way that matters morally, or not as significantly as it does for persons, who are self-conscious, make long-term plans and have preferences about their own future. Animals, at least those that are not persons, lack a morally (...)
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  50. Beyond Anthropomorphism: Attributing Psychological Properties to Animals.Kristin Andrews - 2011 - In Tom L. Beauchamp R. G. Frey (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 469--494.
    In the context of animal cognitive research, anthropomorphism is defined as the attribution of uniquely human mental characteristics to animals. Those who worry about anthropomorphism in research, however, are immediately confronted with the question of which properties are uniquely human. One might think that researchers must first hypothesize the existence of a feature in an animal before they can, with warrant, claim that the property is uniquely human. But all too often, this isn't the approach. Rather, there is (...)
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