Animal Sentience

Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Only I can calculate my own welfare as net pleasure minus pain. No one else can do that calculation for me – nor for a population, and especially not averaging across some individuals’ pleasure and other individuals’ pain. Pain and pleasure are incommensurable and only pain matters morally. To maximize welfare is to minimize pain.

Author Biography

Stevan Harnad harnad@uqam.ca is Professor of cognitive science at Université du Québec à Montréal and University of Southampton. His research is on category learning, language evolution, consciousness, and open access. Founder and former editor of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Harnad is becoming increasingly active in the problems of animal welfare, animal rights and animal law. http://bit.ly/StevanHarnadUQÀM