I a philosopher (and programmer) attempting to research and diagram arguments relating to animal rights. I’m looking for help finding literature with certain types of pro animal rights arguments.
What I’ve done so far:
curi.us/2240-discussion-tree-st … hts-debate
I’m skeptical of animal rights but I’m trying to deal with the issues in an objective, truth seeking way. The types of arguments I’m looking for are specified in the diagram. I want arguments that would allow me to add more nodes to the diagram.
The main thing I’m looking for are arguments relating to modern science and computation which rigorously differentiate animals from robots controlled by software. I would expect the author to be a skilled programmer who agrees that brains are computers, understands computational universality, has something substantive to say about the difference between non-AGI algorithms and intelligence, acknowledges and specifies many types of non-intelligent algorithms (e.g. A* and everything else used in current video games), and then gives some scientific documentation of specific animal behaviors and why they can’t be accounted for with non-intelligent algorithms.
I’ve searched a bunch and haven’t been able to find this so far.
Rigorous, modern, scientific arguments that brains are not computers would also be relevant. Arguments for dualism could be relevant too. Arguments against my epistemology (Critical Rationalism) could also be relevant. I’d prefer arguments which specifically relate to nodes in my discussion tree diagram.
Academic papers are fine. Books are fine. Paywalls are fine. Nothing is too technical or detailed. But those aren’t requirements, e.g. serious blog posts are OK too. I’m not very interested in people writing ad hoc rebuttals in forum comments. If you want to debate me personally, see elliottemple.com/debate-policy
Animals feel pain and have a desire to survive just like humans.
These qualities were essential for the survival of any animal species that have the ability to move.
That’s all you need to know.
That’s a really interesting take. Since you mention you’d like arguments that address the drawbacks of your epistemology, I’ve taken the liberty of replying to this thread.
First, the claim that all brains are computers is contentious because “the brain” is a physicalist/materialist/biological term. Physicalism, materialism, and biology do not really offer persuasive accounts of consciousness, let alone human consciousness (if at all the specification makes sense). “The mind,” on the other hand, is not just a term preferred by dualists but also by phenomenologists who argue that consciousness is not a mere physical phenomenon while also rejecting monoism and dualism. In fact, they only reject these stances because they think “mind” implies “body” and vice versa. Maurice Merlau-Ponty would be a good philosopher to explore in this context. To him, and to other phenomenologists, consciousness is deeply linked to, if not the same as, experience. This may seem like a fairly simple claim, but it really calls for rigorous, almost endless scrutiny of lived experience. It’s got political teeth too. It allows us to lay bare the biases that drive binary divisions.
For instance, if we don’t know what consciousness is, how can we say that animals do not indulge in conscious thinking? If we did agree that animals are capable of conscious thinking, we must then justify why we consume them the way we do. We eat chickens and ducks, but not dogs, because they are “companions.” Moreover, the entire animal-human division is itself being called into question thanks to phenomenology- and deconstrution-based ethical arguments. Please see: The Phenomenology of Animal Life. Similarly, sociologists are arguing that we have to do away with that distinction in favor of the more accurate “human animal and non-human animal.” See (Sociology: The Essentials). This distinction, it is argued, is necessary if we are to have newer and more fruitful ways of thinking about and discussing animal rights.