David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):255-285 (1995)
Welfare biology is the study of living things and their environment with respect to their welfare (defined as net happiness, or enjoyment minus suffering). Despite difficulties of ascertaining and measuring welfare and relevancy to normative issues, welfare biology is a positive science. Evolutionary economics and population dynamics are used to help answer basic questions in welfare biology: Which species are affective sentients capable of welfare? Do they enjoy positive or negative welfare? Can their welfare be dramatically increased? Under plausible axioms, all conscious species are plastic and all plastic species are conscious (and, with a stronger axiom, capable of welfare). More complex niches favour the evolution of more rational species. Evolutionary economics also supports the common-sense view that individual sentients failing to survive to mate suffer negative welfare. A kind of God-made (or evolution-created) fairness between species is also unexpectedly found. The contrast between growth maximization (as may be favoured by natural selection), average welfare, and total welfare maximization is discussed. It is shown that welfare could be increased without even sacrificing numbers (at equilibrium). Since the long-term reduction in animal suffering depends on scientific advances, strict restrictions on animal experimentation may be counter-productive to animal welfare.
|Keywords||Animal Biology Consciousness Economics Evolution Natural Selection Suffering Welfare|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Cynthia Petrie Smith (2000). Animal Welfare and Ethics Resources for Youth and College Agricultural Educators. U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Agricultural Library, Animal Welfare Information Center.
M. B. M. Bracke & H. Hopster (2006). Assessing the Importance of Natural Behavior for Animal Welfare. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 (1):77-89.
David Fraser (2008). Understanding Animal Welfare: The Science in its Cultural Context. Wiley-Blackwell.
C. R. W. Spedding (2000). Animal Welfare. Earthscan Publications.
James W. Yeates (2010). Death is a Welfare Issue. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (3):229-241.
Gavrell Ortiz & Sara Elizabeth (2004). Beyond Welfare: Animal Integrity, Animal Dignity, and Genetic Engineering. Ethics and the Environment 9 (1):94-120.
B. Bermond (2001). A Neuropsychological and Evolutionary Approach to Animal Consciousness and Animal Suffering. Animal Welfare Supplement 10:47- 62.
Kirsten Schmidt (2011). Concepts of Animal Welfare in Relation to Positions in Animal Ethics. Acta Biotheoretica 59 (2):153-171.
S. Kuczaj, K. Tranel, M. Trone & H. Hamner Hill (2001). Are Animals Capable of Deception or Empathy? Implications for Animal Consciousness and Animal Welfare. Animal Welfare. Special Issue 10:161- 173.
David J. Mellor (2009). The Sciences of Animal Welfare. Wiley-Blackwell.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads55 ( #32,535 of 1,140,267 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #38,047 of 1,140,267 )
How can I increase my downloads?