I was recently contacted by a student who had an assignment to report both sides of a contentious issue, and she'd chosen animal research. To her, there were two sides to the debate – a simple yes or no to research. Yet, as I explained to her, it is not a genuinely two-sided argument. To … Continue reading Animal Testing. Is it really a polarised debate?
Cheryl Abbate is a self-described feminist, philosopher and military officer. She is currently a Philosophy PhD student at Marquette University and obtained her MA in Philosophy with Bernard Rollin at Colorado State University. She was one of the animal rights activists who asked me questions during the discussion of my talk at UW Madison. Ms. Abbate … Continue reading (Some) animal rights philosophers say the darndest things!
I was recently invited to offer a moral justification for the scientific use of animals in medical research at the University of Wisconsin. After the talk we had over an hour of discussion where we saw everything from some thoughtful questions to nonsensical ramble. I presented an argument and I expected direct attacks on those arguments. … Continue reading What is your moral baseline?
A group of scientists recently gathered at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference and issued the following declaration which as been widely covered in the media: The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of … Continue reading Consciousness and Moral Status
In a recent perspective, Professor Frans de Waal argues that chimpanzees deserve “special moral status.” The statement comes on the heels of a recent report by the Institute of Medicine who proposed strict criteria on the use of chimps on biomedical research. According to de Waal there are compelling ethical reasons to ban all invasive work on … Continue reading Frans de Waal’s Ethical Arguments Need Clarification
On March 8th I debated Prof. Gary Francione at Rutgers. It was an interesting, heated but civil debate, with a somewhat anticipated outcome. In a few words, we have profound, irreconcilable differences. There is a deep, fundamental gap between the views of the vast majority of the public and anyone whose moral theory declares permissible … Continue reading The Human or the Mouse? Would You Flip a Coin?