“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”

Instant Access to Thousands of Journals for just $40/month

Try 2 weeks free now

The Discovery of Animal Consciousness: An Optimistic Assessment



What can we know about the conscious mental states of (nonhuman) animals? Faced with statutory requirements to assess animal welfare, this question has taken on practical importance for researchers and agriculturists (Bekoff 1994, 1998). But the question cannot be answered without first saying something about the sense in which "consciousness" is being used. The term "consciousness" is ambiguous in English (Wilkes 1984, 1995; Nelkin 1993). It is applied to the distinction between being asleep and awake, to the distinction between responsiveness and unresponsiveness to environmental features, to the distinction between deliberate and reflexive behaviors, to the fact that some neurological events "feel like something" to their subjects while others have no associated phenomenology, and to the distinction between self-awareness and the lack of self-awareness. The application of the term "conscious" in the first two senses ­ being awake, or being responsive to certain stimuli ­ is uncontroversial when applied to animals. The third and fourth senses are controversial. It has been disputed that animals have the capacity for reasoned, deliberate action (see Carruthers 1992), and that their experiences provide them with a qualitative feel, or phenomenology (Carruthers 1992, 1996; Bermond 1997, this conference). The fifth sense ­ self-awareness



Journal of Agricultural and Environmental EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 1, 1997

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007716908222

Free Preview of First Page

Loading next page...

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy unlimited access and
personalized recommendations from
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $40/month

Try 2 weeks free now

Explore the DeepDyve Library

How DeepDyve Works

Spend time researching, not time worrying you’re buying articles that might not be useful.

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from Springer, Elsevier, Nature, IEEE, Wiley-Blackwell and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Simple and Affordable Pricing

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Best Deal — 25% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 25% off!
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.

billed annually