Derbyshire, Stuart W.G. (2016) Fish lack the brains and the psychology for pain. Animal Sentience 3(18)
Brian Key, Why fish do not feel pain
Debate about the possibility of fish pain focuses largely on the fish’s lack of the cortex considered necessary for generating pain. That view is appealing because it avoids relatively abstract debate about the nature of pain experience and subjectivity. Unfortunately, however, that debate cannot be entirely avoided. Subcortical circuits in the fish might support an immediate, raw, “pain” experience. The necessity of the cortex only becomes obvious when considering pain as an explicitly felt subjective experience. Attributing pain to fish only seems absurd when pain is considered as a state of explicit knowing.