Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2411-2428 (2019)

Authors
Matthias Michel
New York University
Abstract
Opponents to consciousness in fish argue that fish do not feel pain because they do not have a neocortex, which is a necessary condition for feeling pain. A common counter-argument appeals to the multiple realizability of pain: while a neocortex might be necessary for feeling pain in humans, pain might be realized differently in fish. This paper argues, first, that it is impossible to find a criterion allowing us to demarcate between plausible and implausible cases of multiple realization of pain without running into a circular argument. Second, opponents to consciousness in fish cannot be provided with reasons to believe in the multiple realizability of pain. I conclude that the debate on the existence of pain in fish is impossible to settle by relying on the multiple realization argument.
Keywords Consciousness  Fish  Pain  Multiple Realization  Animal Consciousness
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Reprint years 2018, 2019
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1133-4
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Troubles with Functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.

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Citations of this work BETA

Dimensions of Animal Consciousness.Jonathan Birch, Alexandra K. Schnell & Nicola S. Clayton - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24 (10):789-801.
The Measurement Problem of Consciousness.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):85-108.
Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
Animal Sentience.Heather Browning & Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12822.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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