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Sentience, The Final Frontier...., Shelley Adamo 2018 Dalhousie University

Sentience, The Final Frontier...., Shelley Adamo

Animal Sentience

Arguments for fish sentience have difficulty with the philosophical zombie problem. Progress in AI has shown that complex learning, pain behavior, and pain as a motivational drive can be emulated by robots without any internal subjective experience. Therefore, demonstrating these abilities in fish does not necessarily demonstrate that fish are sentient. Further evidence for fish sentience may come from optogenetic studies of neural networks in zebrafish. Such studies may show that zebrafish have neural network patterns similar to those that correlate with sentience in humans. Given the present uncertainty regarding sentience in fish, caution should be applied regarding the precautionary ...


Fish Sentience, Consciousness, And Ai, Ila France Porcher 2018 independent ethologist

Fish Sentience, Consciousness, And Ai, Ila France Porcher

Animal Sentience

The systematic criticism of articles providing evidence that fish and invertebrates can feel pain is discussed. Beliefs are known to be stronger than evidence in the human mind, and could generate this outcry, while from another perspective, the criticisms appear as a territorial move by fishermen against a perceived threat to their domain. The scientific inconsistency in which consciousness is granted to machines but not to fish and invertebrates, purely due to political bias, is pointed out. No basis exists for denying sentience to any life form as long as science is ignorant of the nature and source of consciousness.


Fish And Plant Sentience: Anesthetized Plants And Fishes Cannot Respond To Stimuli, Ken Yokawa, František Baluška 2018 Utsunomiya University

Fish And Plant Sentience: Anesthetized Plants And Fishes Cannot Respond To Stimuli, Ken Yokawa, František Baluška

Animal Sentience

Recent denial of fish sentience is at variance with the fact that all living organisms need environmental awareness in order to survive in a continuously fluctuating environment. Moreover, fish sentience – like plant sentience – is also strongly supported by the sensitivity of fishes and plants to diverse anesthetics.


Defining Denial And Sentient Seafood, Jennifer Jacquet 2018 New York University

Defining Denial And Sentient Seafood, Jennifer Jacquet

Animal Sentience

Sneddon et al. address the scientists who reject the empirical evidence on fish sentience, calling them “sceptics” and their work “denial”. This is the first article to frame the question of fish sentience in these terms, and it provides an obvious opening for social science and humanities research in the science of fish sentience. It is also worth asking what practical changes in the lives of fish might arise from the mounting evidence of their sentience. I suggest that the relationship between sentience and our sense of moral obligation is not as clear as we often assume.


Sentience: All Or None Or Matter Of Degree?, Loren Martin, Robert Gerlai 2018 University of Toronto

Sentience: All Or None Or Matter Of Degree?, Loren Martin, Robert Gerlai

Animal Sentience

The question of whether fish feel pain is muddied by anthropomorphic thinking. Comparing biological phenomena in two species should be informed by the criteria for good animal models: face validity, construct validity and predictive validity. Viewed through this lens, we argue that fish do feel pain and may possess some level of sentience. Evolutionary relatedness, hence similarities and differences between species (fish and humans in this case), are not about black vs. white but about shades of grey.


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 2018 University of Liverpool

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

Animal Sentience

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.


Pain In Fish: Evidence From Peripheral Nociceptors To Pallial Processing, Michael L. Woodruff 2018 East Tennessee State University

Pain In Fish: Evidence From Peripheral Nociceptors To Pallial Processing, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience

The target article by Sneddon et al. (2018) presents convincing behavioral and pharmacological evidence that ray-finned fish consciously perceive noxious stimuli as painful. One objection to this interpretation of the evidence is that the fish nervous system is not complex enough to support the conscious experience of pain. Data that contradict this objection are presented in this commentary. The neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the fish nervous system from the peripheral nerves to the pallium is able to support the sentient appreciation of pain.


Fish Sentience Denial: Muddy Moral Water, Robert C. Jones 2018 California State University - Chico

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

Animal Sentience

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.


If It Looks Like A Duck: Fish Fit The Criteria For Pain Perception, Julia E. Meyers-Manor 2018 Ripon College

If It Looks Like A Duck: Fish Fit The Criteria For Pain Perception, Julia E. Meyers-Manor

Animal Sentience

Whereas we have denied the experience of pain to animals, including human babies, the evidence is becoming clearer that animals across a variety of species have the capacity to feel pain (Bellieni, 2012). As converging findings are collected from pain studies and the study of cognition, it is becoming harder to deny that fish are among the species that do feel pain.


Researchers, Not Dogs, Lack Control In An Experiment On Jealousy, Jennifer Vonk 2018 Oakland University

Researchers, Not Dogs, Lack Control In An Experiment On Jealousy, Jennifer Vonk

Animal Sentience

Cook and colleagues (2018) have developed a clever method to measure fMRI in awake dogs in response to a number of interesting stimuli. As a result, they are able to determine neural correlates of observable behavior. They report that dogs may experience something akin to jealousy because they show greater amygdala activation in response to food being given to a fake dog versus food being placed in a bucket. However, several critical controls are missing which prevent the authors from being able to speak of jealousy.


Finding The Green-Eyed Monster In The Brain Of A Dog, Peter Singer 2018 Princeton University

Finding The Green-Eyed Monster In The Brain Of A Dog, Peter Singer

Animal Sentience

That dogs show behavior suggestive of jealousy has long been known and has been demonstrated under controlled conditions. Cook et al. have now shown arousal in the amygdala when dogs see a caregiver feeding another dog. This finding has ethical significance in two respects. First, the consideration shown by the investigators for the welfare of their experimental subjects sets an example for other researchers using animals. Second, the greater understanding of the emotional lives of animals should lead to more concern for their needs.


What Can The Social Emotions Of Dogs Teach Us About Human Emotions?, Dean Mobbs 2018 caltech

What Can The Social Emotions Of Dogs Teach Us About Human Emotions?, Dean Mobbs

Animal Sentience

It has long been believed that social emotions such as guilt and jealousy are only expressed in humans. In the case of jealousy, its adaptive value has been linked to the prevention of sexual infidelity or fairness. So why would dogs feel jealousy? I suggest that understanding how social emotions have been bred into dogs can help us understand our own emotions, including their functionality — and potentially their mechanisms.


Can Neuroimaging In Dogs Have Practical Implications?, Tiffani J. Howell 2018 La Trobe University

Can Neuroimaging In Dogs Have Practical Implications?, Tiffani J. Howell

Animal Sentience

Jealousy, or at least aggression, can be observed in dogs using neuroimaging techniques, but this response attenuates quickly following repeated exposure to the aggression-inducing stimulus. This may have a practical application. Early socialisation as a puppy, and habituation as an adult dog, could help prevent undesirable behaviours such as predatory behaviour. It is unclear whether these processes are the same, and affected only by the dog’s age. Neuroimaging could help us understand whether the same neurological processes underlie socialisation and habituation, and whether self-rewarding behaviours such as predatory behaviour could be stopped using socialisation/habituation techniques.


Lessons From Behaviour For Brain Imaging, Carolyn J. Walsh 2018 Memorial University of Newfoundland

Lessons From Behaviour For Brain Imaging, Carolyn J. Walsh

Animal Sentience

Integrating physiological and behavioural arousal with social context is fundamental to understanding affect in dogs. Cook et al. (2018) have made a worthy start towards illuminating the neural basis of dog affect underlying resource loss. However, their study depends on retrospective behaviour reports versus direct testing, and an interpretation of differential neural activation that is based on too few dogs. Research groups conducting canine brain-imaging work might: (1) consider collaborative approaches to augment sample sizes and replicability, and (2) take a recent lesson from dog behavioural research regarding a more cautious approach to applying functional labels to physiological and/or ...


Inferring Emotion From Amygdala Activation Alone Is Problematic, Thomas F. Denson 2018 University of New South Wales

Inferring Emotion From Amygdala Activation Alone Is Problematic, Thomas F. Denson

Animal Sentience

Cook et al. investigated neural responses in domestic dogs in an experiment designed to elicit jealousy. Relative to a control condition, watching the dogs’ caregivers feed a fake dog activated the amygdala bilaterally. Dogs rated higher in dog-directed aggressiveness showed larger initial amygdala activation. Amygdala activity in this context is insufficient evidence to infer that the dogs experienced jealousy or even negative affect. The experimental design does not provide an adequate level of control to infer the presence of jealousy.


Sentience In Fishes: More On The Evidence, Michael L. Woodruff 2018 East Tennessee State University

Sentience In Fishes: More On The Evidence, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience

In my target article, I argued that the brains of ray-finned fishes of the teleost subclass (Actinopterygii) are sufficiently complex to support sentience — that these fishes have subjective awareness of interoceptive and exteroceptive sense experience. Extending previous theories centered on the tectum, I focused on the organization of the fish pallium. In this Response to the commentaries, I clarify that I do not propose that the fish pallium is, or must be, homologous to the mammalian neocortex to play a role in sentience. Some form of a functionalist approach to explaining the neural basis of sentience across taxa is probably ...


The Nature Of Nature: Concerning The Efficacy Of Natural Law Reasoning, 2017 Selected Works

The Nature Of Nature: Concerning The Efficacy Of Natural Law Reasoning

Thomas V. Gourlay

Recourse to natural law reasoning has long been a part of how Catholics and Christians engage in debates about issues of public and private morality with people and communities of people who do not share the Catholic/Christian faith. But with the rise of modernity, the scientific revolution, and the relative success of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, many Catholics have begun to question traditional natural law reasoning. Some, including theorists like Germain Grisez, and John Finnis have sought to modify traditional natural law reasoning and continue to employ it within debates concerning public and private ethics, while others ...


The Architecture Of Law: Building Law In The Classical Tradition, Brian M. McCall 2017 University of Oklahoma

The Architecture Of Law: Building Law In The Classical Tradition, Brian M. Mccall

Brian M McCall

The Architecture of Law explores the metaphor of law as an architectural building project, with eternal law as the foundation, natural law as the frame, divine law as the guidance provided by the architect, and human law as the provider of the defining details and ornamentation. Classical jurisprudence is presented as a synthesis of the work of the greatest minds of antiquity and the medieval period, including Cicero, Artistotle, Gratian, Augustine, and Aquinas; the significant texts of each receive detailed exposition in these pages.
Along with McCall’s development of the architectural image, he raises a question that becomes a ...


Lost Expectations: On Derrida's Abraham, Mary-Jane V. Rubenstein 2017 Wesleyan University

Lost Expectations: On Derrida's Abraham, Mary-Jane V. Rubenstein

Mary-Jane Rubenstein


This chapter undertakes a critical analysis of Jacques Derrida’s reading of Fear and Trembling (Frygt og Bæven) in The Gift of Death (Donner la mort). In a gesture that might be called a faithful betrayal, Derrida seeks in this text to “go further” than de Silentio, pushing Abraham’s singular near-sacrifice of Isaac into “the most common” experience of decision, his absolute relation to the Absolute into every relation to any other. Composed largely of anonymous fragments, the essay at hand evaluates the theo-ethico-political stakes of this deconstruction, seeking to re-read Derrida’s tout autre in light of the ...


The Property Question.Pdf, William A. Edmundson 2017 Georgia State University College of Law

The Property Question.Pdf, William A. Edmundson

William A. Edmundson

for presentation at the Property and Political Economy Conference at the Smith Institute,
Chapman University, April 20-21, 2018
The “property question” is the constitutional question whether a society’s basic resources are
to be publicly or privately owned; that is, whether these basic resources are to be available to
private owners, perhaps subject to tax and regulation, or whether instead they are to be
retained in joint public ownership, and managed by democratic processes. James Madison’s
approach represents a case in which prior holdings are taken for granted, and the property
question itself is kept off of the political ...


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