Skepticism, Empathy, and Animal Suffering

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (4):457-467 (2013)

Authors
Abstract
The suffering of nonhuman animals has become a noted factor in deciding public policy and legislative change. Yet, despite this growing concern, skepticism toward such suffering is still surprisingly common. This paper analyzes the merits of the skeptical approach, both in its moderate and extreme forms. In the first part it is claimed that the type of criterion for verification concerning the mental states of other animals posed by skepticism is overly (and, in the case of extreme skepticism, illogically) demanding. Resting on Wittgenstein and Husserl, it is argued that skepticism relies on a misguided epistemology and, thus, that key questions posed by it face the risk of absurdity. In the second part of the paper it is suggested that, instead of skepticism, empathy together with intersubjectivity be adopted. Edith Stein’s take on empathy, along with contemporary findings, are explored, and the claim is made that it is only via these two methods of understanding that the suffering of nonhuman animals can be perceived.
Keywords Animal suffering  Skepticism  Animal ethics  Problem of other minds  Empathy  Intersubjectivity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11673-013-9481-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,649
External links

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

Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):458-464.
Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory.Peter Carruthers - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207):265-268.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Empirical Methods in Animal Ethics.Kirsten Persson & David Shaw - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (5):853-866.
Bioethics and Nonhuman Animals.Rob Irvine, Chris Degeling & Ian Kerridge - 2013 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (4):435-440.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Animal Suffering: An Evolutionary Approach.Gill Aitken - 2008 - Environmental Values 17 (2):165-180.
Animal Minds, Skepticism and the Affective Stance.Elisa Aaltola - 2010 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (2):69-82.
The Relationship Between Workers and Animals in the Pork Industry: A Shared Suffering.Jocelyne Porcher - 2011 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (1):3-17.
Neo-Cartesianism and the Problem of Animal Suffering.Michael Murray - 2006 - Faith and Philosophy 23 (2):169-190.
Exuberant Skepticism.Paul Kurtz - 2010 - Prometheus Books 59 John Glenn Drive.
The Wild Animal as a Research Animal.Jac A. A. Swart - 2004 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (2):181-197.
CORNEA, Scepticism and Evil.Jim Stone - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):59-70.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-10-06

Total views
87 ( #87,540 of 2,242,382 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #321,184 of 2,242,382 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature