Neuroscience affords knowledge that can be leveraged in the ontological valuation of individuals, groups, and species. Sociocultural sentiments, norms, and mores may impede embracing such knowledge to revise moral attitudes, ethics, and policies. We argue that the practices of neuroethics will be valuable in that they ground ethico-legal discourse in (1) naturalistic philosophy; (2) the current epistemological capital of neuroscience; (3) the issues, problems, and solutions arising in and from neuroscientific research and its applications; and 4) the use of neurocentric criteria—such as painience—to define and resolve ethical decisions regarding attitudes toward and treatment of nonhuman animals.
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This work was supported, in part, by the J. W. Fulbright Foundation (JG); the William H. and Ruth Crane Schaefer Endowment (JG); and funding from the Center for Neurotechnology Studies of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (SEL), from the Human Science Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany (JG), and from the Animal Behavior and Conservation Program, Department of Psychology, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York (SEL). The authors acknowledge the assistance of Rachel Landsberg on this project.
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