News


Click Here to be kept informed about the conference!

News From The Nonhuman Rights Project:

20 September 2019, 11:17 pm
<p>We have just received confirmation via the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Western Mass News that our elephant client Karen has indeed died, as we suspected. It is abhorrent that the Commerford Zoo denied Beulah and Karen the opportunity to find peace and dignity in a sanctuary, choosing instead to exploit them... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/statement-on-the-death-of-our-elephant-client-karen/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/statement-on-the-death-of-our-elephant-client-karen/">Statement on the Death of our Elephant Client Karen</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


18 September 2019, 10:40 pm
<p>It is with deep sorrow and outrage that we have learned our elephant client Beulah has died after collapsing multiple times at the Big E fair in West Springfield, MA. Because of businesses like the Commerford Zoo and the Big E, she never had a chance to live. Under threat of a bullhook, the Commerford... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/statement-on-the-death-of-our-elephant-client-beulah/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/statement-on-the-death-of-our-elephant-client-beulah/">Statement on the Death of our Elephant Client Beulah</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


13 September 2019, 9:29 pm
<p>“This court can and should now put an end to the injustice of Happy’s decades-long imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo and grant her freedom.”  – NhRP filing Today in our client Happy’s case, the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a reply memorandum in which we rebutted the Bronx Zoo’s latest memorandum (which argues our habeas corpus... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/nhrp-again-rebuts-bronx-zoo-arguments/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/nhrp-again-rebuts-bronx-zoo-arguments/">NhRP Again Rebuts Bronx Zoo Arguments in New York Elephant Rights Case</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


1 September 2019, 5:39 pm
<p>The Nonhuman Rights Project’s legal battle to free three elephants held captive in a Connecticut-based traveling circus called the Commerford Zoo continues amid growing concerns about the elephants’ well-being, including the possibility at least one of them has died. The NhRP has filed a motion for en banc reconsideration, which asks all nine judges of... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/en-banc-review-sought-in-connecticut-elephant-rights-case/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/en-banc-review-sought-in-connecticut-elephant-rights-case/">En Banc Review Sought in Connecticut Elephant Rights Case</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


28 August 2019, 7:38 pm
<p>The Nonhuman Rights Project has become deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our clients Beulah, Karen, and Minnie, three elephants imprisoned and exploited by a Connecticut-based traveling circus called the Commerford Zoo. Our most pressing concerns are for Beulah, whose last known public appearance was in October of 2018 at the Topsfield Fair... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/where-are-beulah-and-karen/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/where-are-beulah-and-karen/">NhRP to Commerford Zoo: Where are Beulah and Karen?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


26 August 2019, 5:47 pm
<p>Check out all the complete rally photo album on Facebook. On August 10th in the Bronx, close to 100 people joined the Nonhuman Rights Project to rally for the freedom of our elephant client Happy, who has been forced to live at the Bronx Zoo for over 40 years, the last 13 of which she... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/recap-august-rally-for-happys-freedom/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/recap-august-rally-for-happys-freedom/">Recap: August Rally for Happy’s Freedom</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


19 August 2019, 4:58 pm
<p>On August 8, 2019, NhRP President Steven M. Wise, at the invitation of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, addressed a panel of nine judges during a hearing to determine whether a spectacled bear named Chucho is a legal person with the fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus. In 2017, Chucho’s... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/chucho-supreme-court-hearing-colombia/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/chucho-supreme-court-hearing-colombia/">NhRP Addresses Highest Court in Colombia in Chucho Bear Rights Case</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


15 August 2019, 10:05 am
<p>Today the NhRP and attorneys for the Wildlife Conservation Society (which operates the Bronx Zoo, where our elephant client Happy is imprisoned) participated in a preliminary conference in the Bronx County Supreme Court. At the hearing, it was determined that all pending motions will be argued directly before Justice Alison Y. Tuitt on September 23rd.... <a class="view-article" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/prelim-conference-happy/">View Article</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/prelim-conference-happy/">Preliminary Conference in “Happy” Elephant Rights Case</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nonhumanrights.org">Nonhuman Rights Project</a>.</p>


1 2


The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness*

On this day of July 7, 2012, a prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists gathered at The University of Cambridge to reassess the neurobiological substrates of conscious experience and related behaviors in human and non-human animals. While comparative research on this topic is naturally hampered by the inability of non-human animals, and often humans, to clearly and readily communicate about their internal states, the following observations can be stated unequivocally:

· The field of Consciousness research is rapidly evolving. Abundant new techniques and strategies for human and non-human animal research have been developed. Consequently, more data is becoming readily available, and this calls for a periodic reevaluation of previously held preconceptions in this field. Studies of non-human animals have shown that homologous brain circuits correlated with conscious experience and perception can be selectively facilitated and disrupted to assess whether they are in fact necessary for those experiences. Moreover, in humans, new non-invasive techniques are readily available to survey the correlates of consciousness.

· The neural substrates of emotions do not appear to be confined to cortical structures. In fact, subcortical neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also critically important for generating emotional behaviors in animals. Artificial arousal of the same brain regions generates corresponding behavior and feeling states in both humans and non-human animals. Wherever in the brain one evokes instinctual emotional behaviors in non-human animals, many of the ensuing behaviors are consistent with experienced feeling states, including those internal states that are rewarding and punishing. Deep brain stimulation of these systems in humans can also generate similar affective states. Systems associated with affect are concentrated in subcortical regions where neural homologies abound. Young human and nonhuman animals without neocortices retain these brain-mind functions. Furthermore, neural circuits supporting behavioral/electrophysiological states of attentiveness, sleep and decision making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in insects and cephalopod mollusks (e.g., octopus).

· Birds appear to offer, in their behavior, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy a striking case of parallel evolution of consciousness. Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots. Mammalian and avian emotional networks and cognitive microcircuitries appear to be far more homologous than previously thought. Moreover, certain species of birds have been found to exhibit neural sleep patterns similar to those of mammals, including REM sleep and, as was demonstrated in zebra finches, neurophysiological patterns, previously thought to require a mammalian neocortex. Magpies in particular have been shown to exhibit striking similarities to humans, great apes, dolphins, and elephants in studies of mirror self-recognition.

· In humans, the effect of certain hallucinogens appears to be associated with a disruption in cortical feedforward and feedback processing. Pharmacological interventions in non-human animals with compounds known to affect conscious behavior in humans can lead to similar perturbations in behavior in non-human animals. In humans, there is evidence to suggest that awareness is correlated with cortical activity, which does not exclude possible contributions by subcortical or early cortical processing, as in visual awareness. Evidence that human and nonhuman animal emotional feelings arise from homologous subcortical brain networks provide compelling evidence for evolutionarily shared primal affective qualia.

We declare the following: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

* The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness was written by Philip Low and edited by Jaak Panksepp, Diana Reiss, David Edelman, Bruno Van Swinderen, Philip Low and Christof Koch. The Declaration was publicly proclaimed in Cambridge, UK, on July 7, 2012, at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and non-Human Animals, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, by Low, Edelman and Koch. The Declaration was signed by the conference participants that very evening, in the presence of Stephen Hawking, in the Balfour Room at the Hotel du Vin in Cambridge, UK. The signing ceremony was memorialized by CBS 60 Minutes.

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness can be downloaded Here


News From the IEET:

  • Keith B. Wiley The Stream of Consciousness and Personal Identity

    This article is a shorter version of a paper I wrote in July, 2019, which loosely coincides with the five-year anniversary of the publication of my book, A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading. The book presents a wide range of thought experiments about mind uploading and then conveys my preferred model of identity, commonly known as branching identity.

  • Episode #54 - Sebo on the Moral Problem of Other Minds

    In this episode I talk to Jeff Sebo. Jeff is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy, and Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University.  Jeff’s research focuses on bioethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. He has two co-authored books Chimpanzee Rights and Food, Animals, and the Environment. We talk about something Jeff calls the ‘moral problem of other minds’, which is roughly the problem of what we should to if we aren’t sure whether another being is sentient or not.

  • EMG De l’invisibilité du changement

    Le mind uploading, ou bio-exode, sera-t-il l’exode rural du XXIème siècle ?

  • IEET’s Roland Benedikter Published Debate Article ‘Citizen Robot’

    The “overcoming of man” long announced by the western political philosophy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries seems to have begun in practice, induced – as remains to be seen, consciously or unconsciously – by states and leaders who live in a paradox: a medieval worldview connected with the hyper-technology of tomorrow.

    Read the full article here

  • What is TRANSHUMANISM? Dr. Ferrando (NYU)

    This video is part of the mini-course in the Philosophy of “The Posthuman”, Lesson n. 2, by Dr. Francesca Ferrando (NYU)

  • What does “POSTHUMAN” mean? Dr. Ferrando (NYU)

    This video is part of the online course in the Philosophy of “The Posthuman”, Lesson n. 1, by Dr. Francesca Ferrando (NYU).

  • What Happens When We Design Babies?

    In this episode we discuss the prospect of designer babies. As genetic engineering and reproductive technologies continue to advance, parents are likely to gain unprecedented control over their offspring. We discuss some of the recent progress in germ line engineering and speculate about the degree of manipulation that might be possible in the near term. But perhaps more importantly, we discuss some of the ethical and policy implications of such advances. Will designer babies pave the way for a healthier and happier society or are we in for a more dystopian outcome?

human_ape_species

13,161 total views, 1 views today

Comments are closed.