Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between different meta-scientific frameworks and the science of animal welfare. Animal Boredom 117 During the past few years, I have become more and more convinced that the great difficulty science has in studying subjective experience in its objects, might be related to the denial of any role to subjective experience in the observer as an interpretational guide. Can a quality in the world around us be observed, when this same quality is deliberately excluded from the process of observing?

As a practical example for the discussion described above, the phenomenon of animal boredom has been chosen. Boredom implies some sort of awareness, some form of a direct inner experience of selfhood. Because without a sense of selfhood related to the developmental potential of the animal, it would be impossible to "miss" certain things, to be bored. With the phenomenon of boredom one can illustrate the qualitative difference between behavioural and physiological deviations, but is still bored, since it misses the opportunity to perform its specific behaviour. How important behaviour is for an animal is a crucial question in theories on adaptation and stress, and as we shall see, on the existence of animal boredom as well.