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Author Website

www.annebenvenuti.com

Commentary Type

Open Commentary

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David M. Peña-Guzmán, Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?

Abstract

The principle of evolutionary continuity states that all animal capacities and behaviors exist — with variations in degree — in continuity with other species. Rather than assuming discontinuity, we should ask why any behavior observed in humans would not be found in at least some other sentient animals under similar conditions. In the case of suicide, the more pertinent issue might be the ethical one: our human responsibility for creating conditions under which other animals might deliberately seek to end their own lives.

Author Biography

Anne Benvenuti is the author of Spirit Unleashed: Reimagining Human-Animal Relations. An instructor of critical thinking, she works at the intersections of evolutionary biology, psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. She is currently focused on articulating the implications of evolutionary continuity for human relations with nonhuman animals. www.annebenvenuti.com

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