Animal Experimentation in Psychology and the Question of Scientific Merit

Ethics and the Environment 2 (1):43 - 52 (1997)

Nonhuman animals are widely used in psychological research and the level of suffering and death is high. This is usually said to be justified by appealing to the scientific merit of the research. This article looks at notions of scientific merit, queries whether they are as clear-cut as commonly supposed, and argues that with contemporary conceptions it is too easy for any research to count as meritorious. A tightening of the notion of scientific merit is suggested, providing a ground for rejection of certain psychological research.
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