Animal Sentience

Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Brian Key, Why fish do not feel pain


The many substantive criticisms raised against Key by me and by many of the other commentators will not disappear by ignoring or waving them aside with meta-discourse about anthropomorphism, just-so stories, or celestial teapots. The conceptual edifice Key inhabits and defends with such gusto may look like an impregnable fortress from the inside – and Key behaves as if it were. From the outside, however, it looks more like a ramshackle structure gaping with holes and pieced together from imperfectly understood neuroscience and often faulty literature citations.

Author Biography

Bjorn Merker is a neuroscientist with longstanding interest in brain mechanisms of consciousness: He has worked on subcortical mechanisms of orienting behavior in rodents and cats, mirror self-recognition in gibbons, and structural principles intrinsic to the neural organization of a conscious state. Fjälkestadsv. 410-82, SE-29194 Kristianstad, Sweden. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Björn_Merker