Conference: Animal Minds & Animal Ethics: Across Species, Across Disciplines

Monday, September 23, 2019, starting at 9.30 am 
Lecture Hall B, Building FA, Vetmeduni Vienna, Veterinaerplatz 1, 1210 Vienna

The social lives of animals are studied by a range of different disciplines. Comparative psychologists and biologists research the cognitive and emotional mechanisms involved in different social interactions. Animal welfare scientists study the impact of social interactions and their disruption on the well-being of animals. Philosophers of animal minds problematize these interactions at a conceptual level, asking, for instance, what it means for a relationship to be meaningful to an animal. Animal ethicists attempt to illuminate what humans owe to animals who are social beings. These different perspectives on animal sociality have the potential to impact how scholars of other fields think about this topic, but these voices are often not heard beyond one’s discipline. This interdisciplinary conference aims to remedy this by bringing together scholars to think about animal minds and animal ethics – across species and across disciplines.

Keynote speakers

Kristin Andrews (York University)

Maria Botero (Sam Houston State University)


Final program

9.30-9.45: Welcome address (Judith Benz-Schwarzburg)

9.45-10.30: Zsófia Virányi (Vetmeduni Vienna): So Close yet so Far: Understanding the Complexity of Dog Cognition

10.30-11.15: Jean-Loup Rault (Vetmeduni Vienna): Prosocial Behaviours and their Implications for Animal Welfare

11.15-11.30: Short break

11.30-12.15: Susana Monsó & Judith Benz-Schwarzburg (Vetmeduni Vienna): Beyond Welfare: Prosociality and Meaning in the Lives of Animals

12.15-13.15: Lunch break

13.15-14.00: Susanne Waiblinger (Vetmeduni Vienna): The Impact of Social Separation in Dairy Farming

14.00-15-00: Maria Botero (Sam Houston State University): Remodelling the Doors of Perception: Methodological and Ethical Implications of Using Touch to Understand Social Cognition in Animals

15.00-15.30: Coffee break

15.30-16.30: Judith Benz-Schwarzburg & Birte Wrage (Vetmeduni Vienna): Towards an Ethics of Touch: Why Social Deprivation in Animals Matters

16.30-17.30: Kristin Andrews (York University): Animal Rights and the Cluster Concept of Personhood


Organizing committee: Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, Susana Monsó, and Birte Wrage

Participation is free, but if you plan to attend please register by sending an e-mail to Susana Monsó.

(Funded by the FWF, project number P 31466-G32 "Morality in Animals: What it Means and Why It Matters")






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