PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: Animal Cognition and Animal Welfare (The PSA Women's Caucus Prize Symposium)

Saturday, 5 November 2016
09:00 - 11:45

Piedmont 1 (12th Floor)

Chair: Mark Fedyk, Mount Allison University

The interface of animal cognition research and animal welfare policy presents an important context in which to examine the role that ethical value-judgements should (or should not) play in scientific methodology. First, animal cognition researchers face an acute version of the problem of “inductive risk”, since they must choose whether to accept or reject hypotheses knowing that their decisions hold significant consequences for animal welfare. Second, they face the challenge of transforming value-laden concepts, such as welfare, suffering and personhood, into objective, empirically measurable quantities. Third, they face questions of how to revise their own practices in the light of the ethical consequences of the discoveries they make. This symposium, which brings together established figures and early career researchers in philosophy of biology, philosophy of cognitive science, animal cognition research and animal ethics, aims to start new debates on these issues, and aims to connect them to broader debates on the role of ethical values in scientific research.

Animal Cognition and Human Values: A Framework
Jonathan Birch, London School of Economics and Political Science,
Inductive risk in animal mindreading research
Marta Halina, University of Cambridge,
Animal Persons
Kristin Andrews, York University,
A continuum of suffering?
Colin Allen, Indiana University - Bloomington,
Gerrymandering the "Ethics" of Animal Research
Lori Marino, The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy,


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