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  1.  75
    Skepticism, Empathy, and Animal Suffering.Elisa Aaltola - 2013 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (4):457-467.
    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. (...)
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  2.  79
    Animal Ethics and the Argument From Absurdity.Elisa Aaltola - 2010 - Environmental Values 19 (1):79-98.
    Arguments for the inherent value, equality of interests,or rights of non-human animals have presented a strong challenge for the anthropocentric worldview. However, they have been met with criticism.One form of criticism maintains that,regardless of their theoretical consistency,these 'pro-animal arguments' cannot be accepted due to their absurdity. Often, particularly inter-species interest conflicts are brought to the fore: if pro-animal arguments were followed,we could not solve interest conflicts between species,which is absurd. Because of this absurdity, the arguments need to be abandoned. The (...)
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  3.  96
    Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture.Elisa Aaltola - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture explores the multifaceted moral meanings allocated to non-human suffering in contemporary Western culture.
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  4. The Anthropocentric Paradigm and the Posibility of Animal Ethics.Elisa Aaltola - 2010 - Ethics and the Environment 15 (1):pp. 27-50.
    Animal ethics has presented various 'pro-animal arguments' according to which non-human animals have a more significant moral status than traditionally assumed. Although these arguments (brought forward, for instance, by Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Mary Midgley, Stephen Clark, and Mark Rowlands) have been met with various forms of criticism, a quick overview of animal ethics literature suggests that they are difficult to overcome. Pro-animal arguments seem to have consistency and argumentative support on their side. However, recently a new type of criticism (...)
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  5.  91
    Varieties of Empathy and Moral Agency.Elisa Aaltola - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):1-11.
    Contemporary literature includes a wide variety of definitions of empathy. At the same time, the revival of sentimentalism has proposed that empathy serves as a necessary criterion of moral agency. The paper explores four common definitions in order to map out which of them best serves such agency. Historical figures are used as the backdrop against which contemporary literature is analysed. David Hume’s philosophy is linked to contemporary notions of affective and cognitive empathy, Adam Smith’s philosophy to projective empathy, and (...)
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  6.  68
    Affective Empathy as Core Moral Agency: Psychopathy, Autism and Reason Revisited.Elisa Aaltola - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (1):76-92.
    Empathy has become a common point of debate in moral psychology. Recent developments in psychiatry, neurosciences and social psychology have led to the revival of sentimentalism, and the ‘empathy thesis’ has suggested that affective empathy, in particular, is a necessary criterion of moral agency. The case of psychopaths – individuals incapable of affective empathy and moral agency, yet capable of rationality – has been utilised in support of this case. Critics, however, have been vocal. They have asserted that the case (...)
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  7. Animal Ethics and Interest Conflicts.Elisa Aaltola - 2005 - Ethics and the Environment 10 (1):19-48.
    : Animal ethics has presented convincing arguments for the individual value of animals. Animals are not only valuable instrumentally or indirectly, but in themselves. Less has been written about interest conflicts between humans and other animals, and the use of animals in practice. The motive of this paper is to analyze different approaches to interest conflicts. It concentrates on six models, which are the rights model, the interest model, the mental complexity model, the special relations model, the multi-criteria model, and (...)
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  8. Personhood and Animals.Elisa Aaltola - 2008 - Environmental Ethics 30 (2):175-193.
    A common Western assumption is that animals cannot be persons. Even in animal ethics, the concept of personhood is often avoided. At the same time, many in cognitive ethology argue that animals do have minds, and that animal ethics presents convincing arguments supporting the individual value of animals. Although “animal personhood” may seem to be an absurd notion, more attention needs to placed on the reasons why animals can or cannot be included in the category of persons. Of three different (...)
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  9.  89
    The Moral Value of Animals.Elisa Aaltola - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:219-225.
    Altruism has often been thought to be the reason we treat animals with a certain moral respect. Animals are not moral agents who could reciprocally honour our well being, and because of this duties toward them are considered to be based on other-directed motivations. Altruism is a vague notion, and in the context of animals can be divided into at least three different alternatives. The first one equates altruism with benevolence or "kindness"; the second one argues altruism is based on (...)
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  10.  38
    'Other Animal Ethics' and the Demand for Difference.Elisa Aaltola - 2002 - Environmental Values 11 (2):193-209.
    Traditionally animal ethics has criticised the anthropocentric worldview according to which humans differ categorically from the rest of the nature in some morally relevant way. It has claimed that even though there are differences, there are also crucial similarities between humans and animals that make it impossible to draw a categorical distinction between humans who are morally valuable and animals which are not. This argument, according to which animals and humans share common characteristics that lead to moral value, is at (...)
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  11.  34
    Philosophy and Animal Studies: Calarco, Castricano, and Diamond.Elisa Aaltola - 2009 - Society and Animals 17 (3):279-286.
    Recently, animal studies has started to gain popularity. This interdisciplinary field investigates the human- animal relationship from different perspectives, including philosophy, cultural studies, and biology. In 2008, at least three books explored themes related to animal studies : Matthew Calarco, Zoographies: The Question of the Animal ; Jodey Castricano, Animal Subjects: An Ethics Reader in a Posthuman World; and Cora Diamond, Cary Wolfe, et al. Philosophy and Animal Life. Each volume approaches animal studies from a different viewpoint, but they also (...)
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  12.  20
    Review Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies Gross Aaron Valley Anne Columbia University Press New York, NY.Elisa Aaltola - 2014 - Journal of Animal Ethics 4 (2):102-104.
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  13.  17
    Review Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now? Weil Kari Columbia University Press New York, NY.Elisa Aaltola - 2014 - Journal of Animal Ethics 4 (1):109-110.
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  14.  16
    Tres argumentos estándar contra el valor individual de los animales no-humanos.Elisa Aaltola - 2010 - Telos: Revista Iberoamericana de Estudios Utilitaristas 17 (1).
    Animal ethics has presented challenging questions regarding the human-animalrelationship. According to some philosophers, non-human animals have value inthemselves. This claim is most commonly based on sentience or consciousness inthe phenomenal sense: since it is like something to be an animal, animals cannotbe treated as mere biological matter. However, the claim has been met with criticism.This paper analyses three of the most common arguments against what ishere called the “individual value” of non-human animals. These arguments are thecapacity argument, the humanistic argument, (...)
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  15.  8
    Wilderness Experiences as Ethics: From Elevation to Attentiveness.Elisa Aaltola - 2015 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (3):283-300.
    Wilderness experiences were celebrated by the Great Romantics, and figures such as Wordsworth and Thoreau emphasized the need to seek direct contact with the non-human world. Later deep ecologists accentuated the way in which wilderness experiences can spark moral epiphanies and lead to action on behalf of the natural environment. In recent years, psychological studies have manifested how the observations made by the Romantics, nature authors and deep ecologists apply to laypeople: contact with the wilderness does tend to lead to (...)
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  16.  5
    Report on Books and Articles.Elisa Aaltola, Gary Backhaus, John Murungi, Jennifer Bates, Emily Brady, Emily Brady Haapala, J. Baird Callicott & Robert L. Chapman - 2003 - Environmental Ethics 24 (2):75-91.
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  17.  10
    Animal Ethics and Philosophy: Questioning the Orthodoxy.Elisa Aaltola & John Hadley (eds.) - 2014 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    Bringing together new theory and critical perspectives on a broad range of topics in animal ethics, this book examines the implications of recent developments in the various fields that bear upon animal ethics. Showcasing a new generation of thinkers, it exposes some important shortcomings in existing animal rights theory.
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  18. Varieties of Empathy: Moral Psychology and Animal Ethics.Elisa Aaltola - 2018 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    Empathy is a term used increasingly both in moral theory and animal ethics. Yet, its precise meaning is often left unexplored. The book aims to tackle this by clarifying the different and even contradictory ways in which “empathy” can be defined.
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  19.  15
    Species Conservation and Minority Rights: The Case of Spring Time Bird Hunting.Elisa Aaltola & Markku Oksanen - 2002 - Environmental Values 11 (4):443-460.
    The article examines the case of springtime bird hunting in Åland from a moral point of view. In Åland springtime hunting has been a cultural practice for centuries but is now under investigation due to the EU Directive on the protection of birds. The main question of the article is whether restrictions on bird hunting have a sound basis. We approach this question by analysing three principles: The animal rights principle states that if hunting is not necessary for survival, it (...)
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  20.  17
    The Moral Value of Animals: Three Versions Based on Altruism.Elisa Aaltola - 2004 - Essays in Philosophy 5 (2):1.
    As it comes to animal ethics, broad versions of contractualism are often used as a reason for excluding animals from the category of those with moral value in the individualistic sense. Ideas of “reciprocity” and “moral agency” are invoked to show that only those capable of understanding and respecting the value of others may have value themselves. Because of this, possible duties toward animals are often made dependent upon altruism: to pay regard to animals is to act in an other-regarding (...)
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