Irina Mikhalevich and Russell Powell, Minds without spines: Evolutionarily inclusive animal ethics


We have structured our response according to five questions arising from the commentaries: (i) What is sentience? (ii) Is sentience a necessary or sufficient condition for moral standing? (iii) What methods should guide comparative cognitive research in general, and specifically in studying invertebrates? (iv) How should we balance scientific uncertainty and moral risk? (v) What practical strategies can help reduce biases and morally dismissive attitudes toward invertebrates?

Author Biography

Russell Powell, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Boston University, specializes in philosophical problems in evolutionary biology and bioethics. Website

Irina Mikhalevich, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, specializes in conceptual and methodological problems in comparative cognitive science and their implications for the treatment of nonhuman animals. Website