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Bacteria And The Cellular Basis Of Consciousness, Michael L. Woodruff 2016 East Tennessee State University

Bacteria And The Cellular Basis Of Consciousness, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

According to Reber’s theory, the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC), sentience originates as bio-sensitivity in unicellular organisms. For this reason, Reber regards sentience as evolutionarily foundational. Many bacteria show chemotaxis and, thus, according to CBC, they are sentient. Analysis of the genetic mechanisms underlying bacterial chemotaxis indicates that sentience has no explanatory power in this case. Genetic analysis also fails to show species continuity underlying bio-sensitivity in bacteria and bio-sensitivity in species with nervous systems, so it does not seem that sentience is evolutionary foundational. CBC is rejected on these grounds.


Unity Of Consciousness In Animals, Bernard E. Rollin 2016 Animal Studies Repository

Unity Of Consciousness In Animals, Bernard E. Rollin

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

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.


Butheoloides Grosseri Sp. N. (Scorpiones: Buthidae) From Uganda, František Kovařík 2016 Marshall University

Butheoloides Grosseri Sp. N. (Scorpiones: Buthidae) From Uganda, František Kovařík

Euscorpius

A new species Butheoloides grosseri sp. n. is described and fully complemented with color photos of female holotype, as well as its habitat. This is the first species assigned to this genus from Uganda and represents southern limits of genus Butheoloides distribution.


Scorpions Of The Horn Of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part Viii. Pandinops Birula, 1913 (Scorpionidae), With Description Of Two New Species, František Kovařík 2016 Marshall University

Scorpions Of The Horn Of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part Viii. Pandinops Birula, 1913 (Scorpionidae), With Description Of Two New Species, František Kovařík

Euscorpius

Complete Pandinops trichobothrial pattern and spiniform formula of tarsomeres of legs are published for the first time. P. friedrichi sp. n. from Somalia and P. turieli sp. n. from Ethiopia and Kenya are described. Information is provided about all Pandinops species, their taxonomy, and distribution, and P. turieli sp. n. discovered during scorpiological expeditions in 2011–2016 is fully complemented with color photos of live and preserved specimens, as well as its habitat.


Scorpions Of The Horn Of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part Vii. Parabuthus Pocock, 1890 (Buthidae), With Description Of P. Hamar Sp. N. And P. Kajibu Sp. N. From Ethiopia, František Kovařík, Graeme Lowe, Jana Plíšková, František Šťáhlavský 2016 Charles University

Scorpions Of The Horn Of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part Vii. Parabuthus Pocock, 1890 (Buthidae), With Description Of P. Hamar Sp. N. And P. Kajibu Sp. N. From Ethiopia, František Kovařík, Graeme Lowe, Jana Plíšková, František Šťáhlavský

Euscorpius

All Parabuthus species from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somaliland were newly collected and are revised for the first time. The complex of Parabuthus liosoma is split into three sibling species with separate areas of distribution: P. abyssinicus Pocock, 1901 (Eritrea, Djibouti, central and north-eastern parts of Ethiopia), P. liosoma (Ehrenberg, 1828) (Yemen and Saudi Arabia), and P. maximus Werner, 1913 (Tanzania and Kenya). P. hamar sp. n. and P. kajibu sp. n., discovered during scorpiological expeditions in 2011–2016, are described. Information is provided about all Parabuthus species from the Horn of Africa, their taxonomy, distribution, and ecology, fully complemented with ...


To Bee Or Not To Bee?, Shimon Edelman, Roy Moyal, Tomer Fekete 2016 Cornell University

To Bee Or Not To Bee?, Shimon Edelman, Roy Moyal, Tomer Fekete

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Klein & Barron’s (2016) (K & B’s) case for insect consciousness is a welcome development in an area that, in all of the science and philosophy of mind, is probably the most anthropocentric. In this commentary, we seek to strengthen K & B’s side of the argument by appealing not just to putative neural mechanisms but also to computational theory that supports it (section 1). We also offer some remarks on three distinctions that are relevant to K & B’s thesis and are central to phenomenal awareness: between the capacity for awareness and its contents (section 2); between awareness and selfhood (section 3); and between “easy” and “hard” problems in consciousness research (section 4).


No Proof For Subjective Experience In Insects, Holk Cruse, Malte Schilling 2016 Bielefeld University

No Proof For Subjective Experience In Insects, Holk Cruse, Malte Schilling

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Klein & Barron (2016) provide an inspiring review collecting arguments that show quite related functions in humans and insects. Here we extend the comparison to robots, and formulate two critical objections. One concerns an epistemological question related to the phenomenon of subjective experience. The other questions whether insects need integrated spatiotemporal modeling for navigation.


What Makes Us Conscious Is Not What Makes Us Human, Ezequiel Morsella, Erica B. Walker 2016 San Francisco State University

What Makes Us Conscious Is Not What Makes Us Human, Ezequiel Morsella, Erica B. Walker

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Consistent with the promising proposal of Klein & Barron (K & B), we discuss how what makes us conscious appears to be distinct from and more widespread in the animal kingdom than what distinguishes us from other species. Many of the abilities that do distinguish humans from other species (e.g., syntax and co-articulation in speech production) can be mediated unconsciously. The kind of functional architecture proposed by K & B may engender an “action selection bottleneck” in both humans and nonhuman species. As noted by K & B, this bottleneck is intimately related to conscious processing.


Insect Consciousness: Fine-Tuning The Hypothesis, Jon Mallatt, Todd E. Feinberg 2016 Washington State University

Insect Consciousness: Fine-Tuning The Hypothesis, Jon Mallatt, Todd E. Feinberg

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Although we are mostly supportive, we point out the strengths and weaknesses of Klein & Barron’s (2016) hypothesis that insects have the most basic form of consciousness. The strengths are in their application of Bjorn Merker’s vertebrate-derived ideas to arthropods, using their deep knowledge of insect brains. The weaknesses involve the controversial aspects of some of Merker’s ideas. We describe how the latter can be modified to strengthen the authors’ case for insect consciousness.


Feel Or Perspective?, Mark Rowlands 2016 University of Miami

Feel Or Perspective?, Mark Rowlands

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

The title of Klein & Barron’s well-argued and thought-provoking target article is, “Insects have the capacity for subjective experience.” However, they also frame their claim using the term “consciousness,” which they seem to take as equivalent to “subjective experience.” This assumed equivalence, I shall argue, is problematic in a way that might vitiate their central argument.


Universal Modes Of Awareness? A “Pre-Reflective” Premise, Uta M. Jürgens 2016 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich & Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf

Universal Modes Of Awareness? A “Pre-Reflective” Premise, Uta M. Jürgens

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Mark Rowlands holds that creatures endowed with pre-reflective awareness may qualify as persons: In pre-reflective awareness, the self and the unity of mental life are implicit in the stream of experience. Rowlands generalizes from an introspective analysis of pre-reflective consciousness in humans to pre-reflective awareness in general. I describe three examples of empirical findings that corroborate the assumption that animal minds have some of the same basic modes of pre-reflective awareness as human minds.


What If Klein & Barron Are Right About Insect Sentience?, Bob Fischer 2016 Texas State University

What If Klein & Barron Are Right About Insect Sentience?, Bob Fischer

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

If Klein & Barron are right, then insects may well be able to feel pain. If they can, then the standard approach to animal ethics generates some implausible results. Philosophers need to develop alternatives to this framework to avoid them.


Subjective Experience And Moral Standing, Andy Lamey 2016 University of California, San Diego

Subjective Experience And Moral Standing, Andy Lamey

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Klein & Barron’s analysis focuses on the capacity for any subjective experience at all. It does not seek to demonstrate that insects can experience pleasure and pain in particular. This would be something of which insects have not traditionally been thought capable. If further research were to demonstrate that one or more insect species turn out to be conscious, yet incapable of experiencing pleasure and pain, it would give rise to a philosophical question that ethicists have yet to answer: Would a creature that is conscious, but lacks the capacity to feel pain, have moral standing?


Is Cortex Necessary?, Sean Allen-Hermanson 2016 Florida Int'l University

Is Cortex Necessary?, Sean Allen-Hermanson

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

A key contention of Klein & Barron (2016) is that consciousness does not depend on cortical structures. A critical appraisal suggests they have overestimated the strength of their evidence.


Who Is A Person? Whoever You Want It To Be, Gwen J. Broude 2016 Vassar College

Who Is A Person? Whoever You Want It To Be, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Rowlands provides an expanded definition of personhood that preserves the requirement of unity of mental life from the orthodox definition but argues that implicit unity of mind is sufficient for conferring personhood. This allows more or all animals to be considered persons. Implicit unity of mind may be a bridge too far for those who endorse the orthodox account of personhood, and for good reasons. More fundamentally, who gets to decide what personhood entails or that personhood per se matters to such other issues as who receives legal or moral status and consideration? Perhaps we should worry less about definitions ...


Are Insects Sentient?, Michael Tye 2016 University of Texas, Austin

Are Insects Sentient?, Michael Tye

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

I comment on the methodology used by Klein & Barron for dealing with the question of insect sentience and I briefly make a proposal of my own. Once it is granted that insects are sentient, a further question arises: which insects are subject to which states of sentience? Do insects feel pain, for example? If so, which ones? On the further question, I note, Klein & Barron have nothing to say.


Animal Grieving And Human Mourning, Matteo Colombo 2016 Tilburg University

Animal Grieving And Human Mourning, Matteo Colombo

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

King’s How animals grieve beautifully describes several ways in which animals and humans show a similar capacity for grief. Yet this book does not sufficiently emphasise the language-empowered capacity to objectify thinking and sentiments about death, which makes human mourning unique. Here I put this capacity into focus and relate it to the social-normative aspect of human mourning that seems to be missing in other animals.


Insects Join The Consciousness Fray, Bjorn H. Merker 2016 retired, no institutional affiliation

Insects Join The Consciousness Fray, Bjorn H. Merker

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Klein & Barron's review of recent insect neurobiology helps correct the impression that insect behavior is orchestrated without the benefit of central integrative mechanisms. Given their existence, the authors go on to ask whether these central mechanisms also feature the kind of integrative operations that support sentience, and propose that they do. Along the way they raise a number of conceptual and evidentiary issues of fundamental importance for the neuroscience of consciousness, allowing me to comment favorably on a number of them. I conclude by pointing to ways in which the conception of insect sentience they outline might be tested ...


Insects Have Agency But Probably Not Sentience Because They Lack Social Bonding, J. H. van Hateren 2016 University of Groningen

Insects Have Agency But Probably Not Sentience Because They Lack Social Bonding, J. H. Van Hateren

Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Klein & Barron (2016) argue that insects have sentience because of functional similarities between the insect brain and vertebrate midbrain. Based on a recent theory of agency and consciousness, I argue that the functional similarities merely point to an advanced form of agency. Insects presumably lack the capacity for social bonding that may be required for subjective experiencing.


Short-Term Water Potential Fluctuations And Eggs Of The Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys Scripta Elegans), John K. Tucker, Gary L. Paukstis, Fredric J. Janzen 2016 Illinois Natural History Survey

Short-Term Water Potential Fluctuations And Eggs Of The Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys Scripta Elegans), John K. Tucker, Gary L. Paukstis, Fredric J. Janzen

Fredric Janzen

We exposed eggs of the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) to short duration (i.e., 48 hours) changes in water potential at two embryonic ages (20 and 40 days). Survivorship to hatching did not differ by substrate water potential or among treatments. Net change in egg mass, a measure of net water exchange between the egg and substrate, was affected by treatments. However, treatments had no effect on hatchling mass, carcass mass, yolk mass, or incubation period. Eggs and embryos are able to exploit beneficial short-term increases in water potential and withstand adverse ones.


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