Science, sentience, and animal welfare

Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):1-30 (2013)
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Abstract

I sketch briefly some of the more influential theories concerned with the moral status of nonhuman animals, highlighting their biological/physiological aspects. I then survey the most prominent empirical research on the physiological and cognitive capacities of nonhuman animals, focusing primarily on sentience, but looking also at a few other morally relevant capacities such as self-awareness, memory, and mindreading. Lastly, I discuss two examples of current animal welfare policy, namely, animals used in industrialized food production and in scientific research. I argue that even the most progressive current welfare policies lag behind, are ignorant of, or arbitrarily disregard the science on sentience and cognition.

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Robert Jones
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Citations of this work

Perspectival pluralism for animal welfare.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-14.
The sentience shift in animal research.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2022 - The New Bioethics 28 (4):299-314.
Animal Sentience.Heather Browning & Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12822.

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