New journal – “Animal Sentience” – on the other-minds problem

The only feelings we can feel are our own. When it comes to the feelings of others, we can only infer them, based on their behavior ? unless they tell us. This is the ?other-minds problem.?

Within our own species, thanks to language, the other-minds problem arises only for states in which people cannot speak (infancy, aphasia, sleep, anaesthesia, coma). Our species also has a uniquely powerful empathic or ?mind-reading? capacity: We can (sometimes) perceive from the behavior of others when they are in states like our own. Our inferences have also been systematized and operationalized in biobehavioral science and supplemented by cognitive neuroimagery. Together, these make the other-minds problem within our own species a relatively minor one.

But we cohabit the planet with other species, most of them very different from our own, and none of them able to talk. Inferring whether and what they feel is important not only for scientific but also for ethical reasons, because where feelings are felt, they can also be hurt.

Animal Sentience [ASent] is a new international, interdisciplinary journal devoted to the other-minds problem across species. As animals are at long last beginning to be accorded legal status and protection as sentient beings, ASent will explore in depth what, how and why organisms feel. Individual ?target articles? (and sometimes précis of books) addressing different species? sentient and cognitive capacities will each be accorded ?open peer commentary,? consisting of multiple shorter articles, both invited and freely submitted ones, by specialists from many disciplines, each elaborating, applying, supplementing or criticizing the content of the target article, along with responses from the target author(s).

The members of the nonhuman species under discussion will not be able to join in the conversation, but their spokesmen and advocates, the specialists who know them best, will. The inaugural issue launches with the all-important question (for fish) of whether fish can feel pain.

ASent is a publication of the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy (HSISP). Based in Washington DC, HSISP?s mandate is to advance the application of scientific and technical analysis and expertise to animal welfare issues and policy questions worldwide. The HSISP is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, the world?s largest animal protection organization.

ASent is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. Thanks to HSISP sponsorship, ASent need not charge either publication fees to authors or subscription fees to readers.

Authors’ opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or editors.

The table of contents of the inaugural issue of ASent follow below. Commentaries by scientists, scholars, practitioners, jurists and policy-makers are invited on any of the target articles (in bold); continuing commentary is also invited on the commentaries and responses. And of course the journal now calls for the submission of target articles. All target articles are peer-reviewed and all commentaries are editorially reviewed. Open peer commentary is intended particularly for new target articles written specifically for ASent, but updated versions of articles that have appeared elsewhere may also be eligible for publication and open peer commentary.

(Open peer commentary is modelled on the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), of which the editor-in-chief of ASent was also the founder and editor-in-chief for 20 years.)

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Inaugural Issue (2016)

Harnad, Stevan (2016) Inaugural Editorial – Animal sentience: The other-minds problem Animal Sentience 2016.001

Safina, Carl (2016) Animals think and feel: Précis of Beyond words: What animals think and feel (Safina 2015) Animal Sentience 2016.002

Key, Brian (2016) Why fish do not feel pain Animal Sentience 2016.003

Balcombe, Jonathan (2016) Cognitive evidence of fish sentience Animal Sentience 2016.008

Braithwaite, Victoria A. and Droege, Paula (2016) Why human pain can?t tell us whether fish feel pain Animal Sentience 2016.009

Broom, Donald M. (2016) Fish brains and behaviour indicate capacity for feeling pain Animal Sentience 2016.010

Brown, Culum (2016) Comparative evolutionary approach to pain perception in fishes Animal Sentience 2016.011

Chella, Antonio (2016) Robot fish do not need sentience Animal Sentience 2016.012

Dinets, Vladimir (2016) No cortex, no cry Animal Sentience 2016.013

Haikonen, Pentti O. (2016) On the sentience of fish Animal Sentience 2016.014

Hart, Paul J.B. (2016) Fighting forms of expression Animal Sentience 2016.015

Jones, Robert C. (2016) Fish sentience and the precautionary principle Animal Sentience 2016.016

Manzotti, Riccardo (2016) No evidence that pain is painful neural process Animal Sentience 2016.017

Mather, Jennifer A. (2016) An invertebrate perspective on pain Animal Sentience 2016.018

Ng, Yew-Kwang (2016) Could fish feel pain? A wider perspective Animal Sentience 2016.019

Seth, Anil K. (2016) Why fish pain cannot and should not be ruled out Animal Sentience 2016.020

Striedter, Georg (2016) Lack of neocortex does not imply fish cannot feel pain Animal Sentience 2016.021

Key, Brian (2016) (Response I) Going beyond just-so stories Animal Sentience 2016.022

Balu?ka, Franti?ek (2016) Should fish feel pain? A plant perspective Animal Sentience 2016.023

Burghardt, Gordon (2015) Mediating claims through critical anthropomorphism Animal Sentience 2016.024

Derbyshire, Stuart W.G. (2016) Fish lack the brains and the psychology for pain Animal Sentience 2016.025

Elwood, Robert W. (2016) A single strand of argument with unfounded conclusion Animal Sentience 2016.026

Gagliano, Monica (2016) What would the Babel fish say? Animal Sentience 2016.027

Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2016) Pain in parallel Animal Sentience 2016.028

Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane (2016) Pain and fish welfare Animal Sentience 2016.029

Merker, Bjorn (2016) Drawing the line on pain Animal Sentience 2016.030

Panksepp, Jaak (2016) Brain processes for ?good? and ?bad? feelings: How far back in evolution? Animal Sentience 2016.031

Rose, James D. (2016) Pain in fish: Weighing the evidence Animal Sentience 2016.032

Segner, Helmut (2016) Why babies do not feel pain, or: How structure-derived functional interpretations can go wrong Animal Sentience 2016.033

Shriver, Adam J. (2016) Cortex necessary for pain ? but not in sense that matters Animal Sentience 2016.034

Sneddon, Lynne U. and Leach, Matthew C. (2016) Anthropomorphic denial of fish pain Animal Sentience 2016.035

Stevens, E. Don (2016) Why is fish ?feeling? pain controversial? Animal Sentience 2016.036

Van Rysewyk, Simon (2016) Nonverbal indicators of pain Animal Sentience 2016.037

Wadiwel, Dinesh Joseph (2016) Fish and pain: The politics of doubt Animal Sentience 2016.038/

Key, Brian (2016) (Response II) Falsifying the null hypothesis that ?fish do not feel pain” Animal Sentience 2016.039

Brown, Culum (2016) Fish pain: An inconvenient truth Animal Sentience 2016.058

Damasio, Antonio and Damasio, Hanna (2016) Pain and other feelings in humans and animals Animal Sentience 2016.059

Devor, Marshall (2016) Where is pain in the brain? Animal Sentience 2016.060

Diggles, B. K. (2016) Fish pain: Would it change current best practice in the real world? Animal Sentience 2016.061

Edelman, David B. (2016) Leaving the door open for fish pain: Evolutionary convergence and the utility of ?just-so stories? Animal Sentience 2016.062

Walters, Edgar T. (2016) Pain-capable neural substrates may be widely available in the animal kingdom Animal Sentience 2016.063

King, Barbara J. (2016) Animal mourning: Précis of How animals grieve (King 2013) Animal Sentience 2016.004

Botero, Maria (2016) Death in the family Animal Sentience 2016.040

Fox Hall, Tara (2016) Anticipatory grief Animal Sentience 2016.041

Gardiner, Martin (2016) Modulation of behavior in communicating emotion Animal Sentience 2016.042

Glymour, Clark (2016) The object of grief Animal Sentience 2016.043

Probyn-Rapsey, Fiona (2016) Love?s claim on grief Animal Sentience 2016.044

Proctor, Helen (2016) Monkey say, monkey do, monkey grieve? Animal Sentience 2016.045

Ristau, Carolyn (2016) Evidence for animal grief? Animal Sentience 2016.046

King, Barbara J. King (2016) (Response) Understanding emotional suffering Animal Sentience 2016.047

Broom, Donald M. (2016) Considering animals? feelings: Précis of Sentience and animal welfare Animal Sentience 2016.005

Chandrasekera, Charukeshi (2016) From sentience to science: Limits of anthropocentric cognition Animal Sentience 2016.048

Clarke, Nancy (2016) Sentience and animal welfare: Affirming the science and addressing the skepticism Animal Sentience 2016.049

Copeland, Marion W. (2016) Life in translation Animal Sentience 2016.050

Donaldson, Sue and Kymlicka, Will (2016) Linking animal ethics and animal welfare science Animal Sentience 2016.051

Duncan, Ian J.H. (2016) Is sentience only a nonessential component of animal welfare? Animal Sentience 2016.052

Durham, Debra (2016) The science of sentience is reshaping how we think about animals Animal Sentience 2016.053

Rolle, M.E. (2016) Animal welfare and animal rights Animal Sentience 2016.054

Rowlands, Mark (2016) Mentality and animal welfare Animal Sentience 2016.055

Sammarco, Andrea L. (2016) Is humanitarianism recent? Animal Sentience 2016.056

Broom, Donald M. (2016) (Response) Sentience and animal welfare: New thoughts and controversies Animal Sentience 2016.057

Lachance, Martine (2016) Breaking the silence: The veterinarian?s duty to report Animal Sentience 2016.006

Ng, Yew-Kwang (2016) How welfare biology and commonsense may help to reduce animal suffering Animal Sentience 2016.007