Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

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Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Birch’s extension of the precautionary principle (PP) is plausible but raises issues about how proportionality ought to be incorporated into law. Following Steel (2013), I suggest that the PP is best considered as a meta-norm, and as such any resulting laws are likely to lack the fineness of grain that we would hope to achieve. To fill the gap, I suggest a parallel with the ethics of studying looted artifacts.

Author Biography

Colin Klein is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University. He works on philosophy of neuroscience with a side interest in the perception of pain and other homeostatically relevant states. In 2014 he received an ARC Future Fellowship to look at interventionist approaches to cognitive neuroscience. www.colinklein.org