November 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

History and Philosophy of Science | Suffering: A Neurofunctional Account, Nov. 30

Colin Allen, portrait

Dr. Colin Allen

The Ohio University Lectures in the History and Philosophy of Science series presents Dr. Colin Allen on “Suffering: A Neurofunctional Account” on Friday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m. in Scripps 111.

Allen is Distinguished Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Abstract: In this talk I appeal to behavioral and neurological evidence to argue for a neurofunctional account of suffering that distinguishes it from pain and other negative affect states and relates it to learning and cognitive control. The evidence I cite draws largely from studies conducted with human subjects, but my goal is to develop an account that is also suitable for the purposes of comparative psychology and animal ethics. I will also draw out some implications of the account for human-animal comparisons. The account offers a way of understanding why human suffering spans a greater range than the suffering of animals, while allowing that nonhuman animals may suffer more than humans in situations of equivalent pain.

This lecture is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Philosophy Department and the Spetnagel Development Fund.

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