Publications by authors named "Elisa Aaltola"

2 Publications

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The Meat Paradox, Omnivore's Akrasia, and Animal Ethics.

Authors:
Elisa Aaltola

Animals (Basel) 2019 Dec 12;9(12). Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.

Western cultures have witnessed an intriguing phenomenon in recent years: People are both more concerned for animal wellbeing and consume more animal products than ever before. This contradiction has been explored in psychology under the term "meat paradox". However, what has been omitted from the explorations is the age-old philosophical notion of "akrasia", within which one both knows "the good" and acts against it. The paper seeks to address this omission by comparing psychological research on the meat paradox with philosophy of akrasia. Applying Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Spinoza, I investigate the underlying factors of and solutions to what is here called "omnivore's akrasia". Whilst contemporary research on the meat paradox focuses on various descriptive cognitive errors (such as cognitive dissonance), philosophy of akrasia has tended to focus more prescriptively on moral reason and virtue. After discussing "nudging" as an implication of the descriptive approach, the paper supports the prescriptive perspective and "the cultivation argument". The claim is that contemporary research on the contradictions concerning attitudes toward other animals would greatly benefit from paying more attention to the value-laden mental factors underlying moral agency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9121125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6940846PMC
December 2019

Skepticism, empathy, and animal suffering.

Authors:
Elisa Aaltola

J Bioeth Inq 2013 Dec 5;10(4):457-67. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland,

The suffering of nonhuman animals has become a noted factor in deciding public policy and legislative change. Yet, despite this growing concern, skepticism toward such suffering is still surprisingly common. This paper analyzes the merits of the skeptical approach, both in its moderate and extreme forms. In the first part it is claimed that the type of criterion for verification concerning the mental states of other animals posed by skepticism is overly (and, in the case of extreme skepticism, illogically) demanding. Resting on Wittgenstein and Husserl, it is argued that skepticism relies on a misguided epistemology and, thus, that key questions posed by it face the risk of absurdity. In the second part of the paper it is suggested that, instead of skepticism, empathy together with intersubjectivity be adopted. Edith Stein's take on empathy, along with contemporary findings, are explored, and the claim is made that it is only via these two methods of understanding that the suffering of nonhuman animals can be perceived.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11673-013-9481-4DOI Listing
December 2013
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