Friday, December 14, 2012

Chickens, Ethics, and Intermediate Self-Consciousness

Primitive Self-Consciousness and Avian Cognition

Andy Lamey 

Monash University

May 25, 2012

The Monist, Volume 95, Issue 3, July 2012. 

Recent work in moral theory has seen the refinement of theories of moral standing, which increasingly recognize a position of intermediate standing between fully self-conscious entities and those which are merely conscious. Among the most sophisticated concepts now used to denote such intermediate standing is that of primitive self-consciousness, which has been used to more precisely elucidate the moral standing of human newborns. New research into the structure of the avian brain offers a revised view of the cognitive abilities of birds. When this research is approached with a species-specific focus, it appears likely that one familiar species, the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), also exhibits primitive self-consciousness. Given the likelihood that they are primitively self-consciousness, chickens warrant a degree of moral standing that falls short of that enjoyed by persons, but which exceeds the minimal standing of merely conscious entities. Read the complete author's draft (PDF).

Articles about this paper:

Free from Harm: Not Surprisingly, More Science Elevating Chicken Intelligence, Proposing Higher Moral Status

No comments:

Post a Comment