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Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

There are two widely held assumptions about perception: ascriber-independence (the view that the facts regarding what a subject perceives, as well as what her perceptual states represent, are independent of the interests of those attributing the relevant states to her), and determinacy (the view that perceptual content is relatively determinate). I challenge both of these assumptions, and develop a new approach to perceptual content, with implications for theories of mental content more broadly. In chapter one, I address the question of whether, in addition to low-level features, vision represents ordinary objects. I argue that there is just no fact of ...


Ecopsychology Revisited: For Whom Do The “Nature” Bells Toll? (In Progress), Jorge Conesa-Sevilla 2016 European Ecopsychology Society

Ecopsychology Revisited: For Whom Do The “Nature” Bells Toll? (In Progress), Jorge Conesa-Sevilla

Jorge Conesa-Sevilla PhD

"[...] A recurring theme in “ecopsychology,” in its present and inchoate form, is the continuation and extension of “spirit” in juxtaposition with other privileged and/or habitually preferred (perhaps even psychologically needed) practices or causes (spirituality-somethings, farcical chemistry or physics, yoga, coopted and partially understood indigenous lore, extreme diets, and various fetishes). That these mostly emotion-laden, unreasoned, and/or idiosyncratic amalgamations are prevalent says more about the psychological needs of the persons espousing these sentiments or beliefs (their hobbies or interests) than about “nature.” Certainly, it is nothing new that humans project their hopes, desperations, and wish-fulfillment thinking onto the shifting ...


Cephalopods Are Best Candidates For Invertebrate Consciousness, Jennifer A. Mather, Claudio Carere 2016 Psychology, University of Lethbridge

Cephalopods Are Best Candidates For Invertebrate Consciousness, Jennifer A. Mather, Claudio Carere

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Insects might have been the first invertebrates to evolve sentience, but cephalopods were the first invertebrates to gain scientific recognition for it.


Caterpillars, Consciousness And The Origins Of Mind, Arthur S. Reber 2016 University of British Columbia

Caterpillars, Consciousness And The Origins Of Mind, Arthur S. Reber

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

A novel framework for the origins of consciousness and mind, the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC), is presented. The model is based on a simple, perhaps radical axiom: subjectivity is an inherent feature of particular kinds of organic form. Experiential states, including those denoted as "mind" and "consciousness," are present in the most primitive species. The model has several conceptual and empirical virtues, among them: (a) it (re)solves the problem of how minds are created by brains ─ also known as the "Hard Problem" (Chalmers 1995) ─ by revealing that the apparent difficulty results from a category error, (b) it redirects ...


Why Animals Are Persons, Tony Cheng 2016 University College London

Why Animals Are Persons, Tony Cheng

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Rowlands’s case for attributing personhood to lower animals is ultimately convincing, but along the way he fails to highlight several distinctions that are crucial for his argument: Personhood vs. personal identity; the first person vs. its mental episodes; and pre-reflective awareness in general vs. one specific case of it.


Animals Are Agents, Linda A.W. Brakel 2016 University of Michigan

Animals Are Agents, Linda A.W. Brakel

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Mark Rowlands’s (2016) target article invites us to consider individuals in a broad subset of the non-human animal world as genuine persons. His account features animals reacting to salient environmental stimuli as Gibsonian affordances, which is indicative of “pre-reflective self-awareness.” He holds that such pre-reflective self-awareness is both “immune to error through misidentification” (Shoemaker, 1968) and a necessary precursor to reflective consciousness and personhood. I agree. In this commentary I hope to extend Rowlands’s work with a view in which agency is an even more fundamental precursor and one can (and should) consider individuals throughout the entire animal ...


Implicit Mental Processes Are An Improbable Basis For Personhood, Michael L. Woodruff 2016 East Tennessee State University

Implicit Mental Processes Are An Improbable Basis For Personhood, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Rowlands argues that animals have implicit pre-reflective awareness and that this is adequate to create the unity of conscious thought required for personhood. For him pre-reflective awareness does not include intentionality and is probably an unconscious process. I suggest that his sense of implicit leads to significant difficulties for his argument and that including intentionality in the definition of a first-person perspective provides a stronger base for viewing animals as persons.


Are Animals Persons?, Mark Rowlands 2016 University of Miami

Are Animals Persons?, Mark Rowlands

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

It is orthodox to suppose that very few, if any, nonhuman animals are persons. The category “person” is restricted to self-aware creatures: humans (above a certain age) and possibly some of the great apes and cetaceans. I argue that this orthodoxy should be rejected, because it rests on a mistaken conception of the kind of self-awareness relevant to personhood. Replacing this with a sense of self-awareness that is relevant requires us to accept that personhood is much more widely distributed through the animal kingdom.


Insects Have The Capacity For Subjective Experience, Colin Klein, Andrew B. Barron 2016 Macquarie University, Australia

Insects Have The Capacity For Subjective Experience, Colin Klein, Andrew B. Barron

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

To what degree are non-human animals conscious? We propose that the most meaningful way to approach this question is from the perspective of functional neurobiology. Here we focus on subjective experience, which is a basic awareness of the world without further reflection on that awareness. This is considered the most basic form of consciousness. Tellingly, this capacity is supported by the integrated midbrain and basal ganglia structures, which are among the oldest and most highly conserved brain systems in vertebrates. A reasonable inference is that the capacity for subjective experience is both widespread and evolutionarily old within the vertebrate lineage ...


Cross-Species Mind-Reading, Stevan Harnad 2016 Université du Québec à Montréal & University of Southampton

Cross-Species Mind-Reading, Stevan Harnad

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

We can never be sure anyone else is sentient. But we can be sure enough in the case of other people, nonhuman primates, mammals, birds, fish, lower vertebrates and invertebrates as to make scepticism academic and otiose (not to mention monumentally cruel). The only genuinely uncertain kinds of cases are jellyfish, microbes and plants. The rest is not about whether but what they are feeling.


My Orgasms Cannot Be Traded Off Against Others’ Agony, Stevan Harnad 2016 Université du Québec à Montréal & University of Southampton

My Orgasms Cannot Be Traded Off Against Others’ Agony, Stevan Harnad

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Only I can calculate my own welfare as net pleasure minus pain. No one else can do that calculation for me – nor for a population, and especially not averaging across some individuals’ pleasure and other individuals’ pain. Pain and pleasure are incommensurable and only pain matters morally. To maximize welfare is to minimize pain.


In Praise Of Fishes: Précis Of What A Fish Knows (Balcombe 2016), Jonathan Balcombe 2016 Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy

In Praise Of Fishes: Précis Of What A Fish Knows (Balcombe 2016), Jonathan Balcombe

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Our relationship to fishes in the modern era is deeply problematic. We kill and consume more of them than any other group of vertebrates. At the same time, advances in our knowledge of fishes and their capabilities are gaining speed. Fish species diversity exceeds that of all other vertebrates combined, with a wide range of sensory adaptations, some of them (e.g., geomagnetism, water pressure and movement detection, and communication via electricity) alien to our own sensory experience. The evidence for pain in fishes (despite persistent detractors) is strongly supported by anatomical, physiological and behavioral studies. It is likely that ...


Sentience As Moral Consideration And Disvalue In Nature, Daniel Dorado 2016 Animal Ethics

Sentience As Moral Consideration And Disvalue In Nature, Daniel Dorado

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

In recent work Ng assumes that it is good to engage in activities aimed at promoting ecosystem conservation. The only way Ng can derive this from the axiology he assumes (the view that wellbeing is the only intrinsically valuable or disvaluable thing) would be to assume that ecosystem conservation would benefit the individuals involved. This can be so as long as value prevails over disvalue in the target environments. Ng seems to assume this is indeed the case, but he does not explain why, and it is a claim that goes against the conclusions he has argued for previously (Ng ...


Inalienable Rights And Pluralism In Animal Advocacy, Beril Sözmen 2016 Istanbul Technical University

Inalienable Rights And Pluralism In Animal Advocacy, Beril Sözmen

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

I comment on two of Ng’s suggestions. There is a lack of support for his suggestion that some experiments on individual animals will be useful for future success, so they should be permitted. I also question his recommendation that animal advocacy should focus on farmed animals first and wild animals later. The lack of solid support for why this would be a more effective strategy leads me to suggest a more pluralistic support of a variety of types of advocacy.


Vol 7 No 2 Contents Page, 2016 San Jose State University

Vol 7 No 2 Contents Page

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Vol 7 No 2 Information Page, 2016 San Jose State University

Vol 7 No 2 Information Page

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Vol 7 No 2 Cover Page, 2016 San Jose State University

Vol 7 No 2 Cover Page

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Changing Attitudes Towards Animals In The Wild And Speciesism, Oscar Horta 2016 University of Santiago de Compostela

Changing Attitudes Towards Animals In The Wild And Speciesism, Oscar Horta

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

I argue that despite Ng’s claim that we should postpone the defense of those animals that live in the wild, we do have reasons to start spreading concern for them now. We can do it by (i) changing public attitude by heightening awareness of speciesism, by which we will also challenge animal exploitation; and (ii) by disseminating information about the situation of animals in the wild.


Sources Of Dignity For Persons: Capacities, Friendship, Love And Subjectivity, Matthew Nevius 2016 Liberty University

Sources Of Dignity For Persons: Capacities, Friendship, Love And Subjectivity, Matthew Nevius

Masters Theses

Many people seem to understand the term 'dignity' as applying to all human persons regardless of their race, creed, sex, or religious beliefs. As to what the concept 'dignity' means is a difficult and complex problem. Is the concept 'dignity' an empty concept, void of meaning? What does it mean when we say that this or that person has dignity? Most of the current philosophical literature has very little to say as to what dignity is. I will argue that what we need to find is a concept of dignity that accounts for both the infinite and the irreplaceable value ...


Peer Disagreement And Rationality: An Analysis Of Richard Feldman's Conciliatory View, John Molinari 2016 jbmolinarijr@liberty.edu

Peer Disagreement And Rationality: An Analysis Of Richard Feldman's Conciliatory View, John Molinari

Masters Theses

How should one's beliefs be affected by one's knowing that other people, who are equally well-informed, rational, and intelligent – in other words, persons who are epistemic, or intellectual, peers – believe differently? In this thesis I look at a certain answer to this question. Richard Feldman argues that when two persons who have (roughly) the same level of intelligence and who are (roughly) equally well-informed disagree, the only rational response is for both persons to give up their disputed beliefs and suspend judgment. I look at two objections to Feldman’s view, one from Ernest Sosa and the other ...


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