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Irina Mikhalevich
Rochester Institute of Technology
  1. Minds Without Spines: Evolutionarily Inclusive Animal Ethics.Irina Mikhalevich - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (1).
    Invertebrate animals are frequently lumped into a single category and denied welfare protections despite their considerable cognitive, behavioral, and evolutionary diversity. Some ethical and policy inroads have been made for cephalopod molluscs and crustaceans, but the vast majority of arthropods, including the insects, remain excluded from moral consideration. We argue that this exclusion is unwarranted given the existing evidence. Anachronistic readings of evolution, which view invertebrates as lower in the scala naturae, continue to influence public policy and common morality. The (...)
     
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  2. Is Behavioural Flexibility Evidence of Cognitive Complexity? How Evolution Can Inform Comparative Cognition.Irina Mikhalevich, Russell Powell & Corina Logan - 2017 - Interface Focus 7.
    Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to ‘deflationary’ challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer (...)
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  3.  33
    Affective Sentience and Moral Protection.Rachell Powell & Irina Mikhalevich - 2021 - Animal Sentience 29 (35).
    We have structured our response according to five questions arising from the commentaries: (i) What is sentience? (ii) Is sentience a necessary or sufficient condition for moral standing? (iii) What methods should guide comparative cognitive research in general, and specifically in studying invertebrates? (iv) How should we balance scientific uncertainty and moral risk? (v) What practical strategies can help reduce biases and morally dismissive attitudes toward invertebrates?
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  4.  38
    Experiment and Animal Minds: Why the Choice of the Null Hypothesis Matters.Irina Mikhalevich - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1059-1069.
    In guarding against inferential mistakes, experimental comparative cognition errs on the side of underattributing sophisticated cognition to animals, or what I refer to as the underattribution bias. I propose eliminating this bias by altering the method of choosing the default, or null, hypothesis. Rather than choosing the most parsimonious null hypothesis, as is current practice, I argue for choosing the best-evidenced hypothesis. Doing so at once preserves the risk-controlling structure of the current statistical paradigm and introduces a sensitivity to probability-conferring (...)
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    Simplicity and Cognitive Modeling: Avoiding Old Mistakes in New Experimental Contexts.Irina Mikhalevich - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jacob Beck (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. London, UK: pp. 427-437.
    In this chapter, the author examines how the simplicity heuristic adversely affects a relatively new tool in experimental comparative cognition: cognitive models. It does so, she argues, by directing intellectual resources into the development and refinement of putatively simple cognitive models at the expense of putatively more complex ones, which in turn directs experimenters to develop tests to rule out these simple models.
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  6. Animal Suicide: An Account Worth Giving? Commentary on Peña-Guzmán on Animal Suicide.Irina Mikhalevich - 2018 - Animal Sentience 20 (19).
    Peña-Guzmán (2017) argues that empirical evidence and evolutionary theory compel us to treat the phenomenon of suicide as continuous in the animal kingdom. He defends a “continuist” account in which suicide is a multiply-realizable phenomenon characterized by self-injurious and self-annihilative behaviors. This view is problematic for several reasons. First, it appears to mischaracterize the Darwinian view that mind is continuous in nature. Second, by focusing only on surface-level features of behavior, it groups causally and etiologically disparate phenomena under a single (...)
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  7. Sex, Lies and Gender.Irina Mikhalevich & Russell Powell - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (1):14-16.
    Browne 1 (this issue ) argues that what may appear to be a benevolent practice-disclosing the sex of a fetus to expecting parents who wish to know-is in fact an epistemically problematic and, as a result, ethically questionable medical practice. Browne worries that not only will the disclosure of fetal sex encourage sex-selective abortions (an issue we will not take up here), but also that it will convey a misleading and pernicious message about the relationship between sex and gender. More (...)
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  8. Animal Cognition.Irina Mikhalevich - 2022 - In Carolyn Dicey-Jennings & Benjamin D. Young (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Routledge.
     
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  9. Review of "How to Study Animal Minds". [REVIEW]Irina Mikhalevich - 2021 - BJPS Review of Books.
     
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  10.  13
    Experiment and Animal Minds: Why Statistical Choices Matter.Irina Mikhalevich - unknown
    Comparative cognition is the interdisciplinary study of nonhuman animal cognition. It has been criticized for systematically underattributing sophisticated cognition to nonhuman animals, a problem that I refer to as the underattribution bias. In this paper, I show that philosophical treatments of this bias at the experimental level have emphasized one feature of the experimental-statistical methodology at the expense of neglecting another feature. In order to eliminate this bias, I propose a reformulation of the standard statistical framework in comparative cognition. My (...)
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