Why fish pain cannot and should not be ruled out

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Yearbooks and Newsletters, Vol: 1, Issue: 3

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https://animalstudiesrepository.org/animsent/vol1/iss3/14; https://touroscholar.touro.edu/archives_books/6; https://touroscholar.touro.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=archives_books
Touro College
Touro College; Touro Scholar
Touro College; Yearbook; Education; Higher Education; fish consciousness; non-mammalian consciousness; neocortex; Bayesian brain; Other Animal Sciences
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Do fish consciously feel pain? Addressing this question, Key (2016) asks whether the neural mechanisms underlying conscious pain reports in humans can be identified in fish. This strategy fails in three ways. First, non-mammalian consciousness — if it exists — may depend on different mechanisms. Second, accumulating neurophysiological and behavioural evidence, evolutionary considerations, and emerging Bayesian brain theories suggest that if fish can feel at all, they can feel pain. Finally, the qualitative nature of pain and suffering obliges us, via the precautionary principle, to accommodate the possibility of its existence where doubt remains.