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This interdisciplinary volume of essays explores how the notion of time varies across disciplines by examining variance as a defining feature of temporalities in cultural, creative, and scholarly contexts. Featuring a President’s Address by philosopher David Wood, it begins with critical reassessments of J.T. Fraser’s hierarchical theory of time through the lens of Anthropocene studies, philosophy, ecological theory, and ecological literature; proceeds to variant narratives in fiction, video games, film, and graphic novels; and concludes by measuring time’s variance with tools as different as incense clocks and computers, and by marking variance in music, film, and performance art.
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In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
"Posthumanism" may be understood as the paradigm that succeeds humanism, but also as the study of what might follow humanity's end. After prompting an initial sense of novelty and shock, posthumanism has become a discourse whose unsettling anticipations of the future and timely critiques of the present have firmly established themselves within the academy. Posthumanism’s concerns—typically relating to the impacts of bio- and digital technology on body, mind, culture, and epistemology—are now part of mainstream debate within the humanities and within interdisciplinary explorations of the integrity of the human.
Critical Posthumanisms is a series focusing on the exciting rise of posthumanism and its probable directions. It makes available studies by scholars whose perspectives on the posthuman vary in important and interesting ways, and should serve as a crucial point of reference for anybody working within the field.
Books within the series provide:
(a) analyses of the histories, idioms, and canons of different “posthumanisms”;
(b) discussion of the main thinkers and trends of posthumanism;
(c) alternative formulations of posthumanism, which downplay the centrality of technology;
(d) philosophical and political critiques of the "prosthesization" of the human;
(e) cross-disciplinary takes on posthumanism, particularly those allowing the humanities to engage with areas like Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Virtual Reality, etc.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Christa Stevens.

Manuscripts for this series should eventually follow MHRA style, and preferably use UK spelling.
Author: Kerry Perkins

Abstract

Welfare within zoos and aquariums has come under increasing scrutiny due to the change in public opinion of animals in captivity. It is vital that as an industry mechanisms and frameworks are in place to determine welfare of animals within our care. Due to potential bias in current welfare models toward terrestrial vertebrates, it is important to determine whether they can be utilised in differing environments such as aquariums. Using the most recent five domain model (Mellor, 2017) the possible application within public aquaria is discussed, considering each domain in respect to aquatic invertebrates, an often-neglected group of organisms when considering welfare in aquaria. This review highlights the additional considerations needed when applying the five domain model to this diverse group of organisms. Furthermore, the identification of gaps within the current literature is discussed in respect to whether the full five domain model can be currently be applied at this time.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Horses form an integral part of Irish culture and heritage. COVID-19 restrictions have created challenges for living generally and for those who own and care-take animals. It is envisaged that risks may arise for equine welfare and many factors may contribute to it. The “Five Freedoms” have formed the basis for animal welfare legislation however, the “Five Domains Model” has progressed to provide a robust model built on scientific research. With advances in research and knowledge, welfare may be measured both physiologically and behaviourally. This study sought to investigate the impact, if any of COVID-19, on the welfare of sport and leisure horses in Ireland. An online survey was conducted to gather data regarding the welfare of sport and leisure horses in Ireland during COVID-19 restrictions. There were several positive findings and the majority of respondents (n = 69) felt that COVID-19 restrictions did not negatively affect the welfare of their horses.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Methodological choices in animal experimentation are influenced by a variety of factors. The analysis of the relative weight of such factors on the practice of animal experimentation can offer a better idea of the influences characterizing the work of researchers today. To this aim, we conducted structured interviews and sent out questionnaires to researchers using animal models. The results showed that the main factor influencing the researchers’ work with animals was the appropriateness of the chosen animal model to respond to the question addressed. Ethical issues came as the next important factor, mostly based on considerations regarding animal suffering. The general public opinion appeared to be of little significance, indicating that a gap still exists between animal researchers and society. This paper shows animal experimentation is influenced by both external (e.g., adherence to scientific objectivity) and internal factors (e.g., ethical concerns), providing a varied profile of the contemporary animal researcher.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Author: Leonor Galhardo

Abstract

‘My fish and I’ is an account of the diversity of human-fish interactions. This includes their benefits, detriments/harms as well as their moral and animal welfare. Fish are not easily perceived as individual animals having mental states, interests, needs and a degree of individuality. Additionally, fish have been handled as a simple resource in innumerable human interactions. Important ethical approaches address animal-human interactions based upon the individual’s cognitive ability and capacity to feel pleasure and pain. Given the ample evidence that fish have neuroanatomical structures that support the capacity to feel (sentience) and have complex behavioural and cognitive abilities, a moral duty is imposed upon us. Some human-centered and eco-centered moral views complement different perceptions of the nature of our relationship with fish. This occurs both at the individual level and as species or populations face a serious need for conservation. The concepts and assessments in the developments of animal welfare science provide ample basis for an evolution in the quality of human-fish interactions. However, many stakeholders must take part in this evolution. This is especially true as it concerns those areas of activity involving many individual fish and higher levels of suffering. Examples of these are aquaculture and commercial fisheries where there is much more at stake. Consumers will have the last word in this role, namely by reducing fish consumption.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Author: David Wood

Abstract

J. T. Fraser articulates five different organizational levels of time: proto-temporality (disconnected fragments of time); eotemporality (physics, the fourth dimension); biotemporality (self-organization, life, direction); and nootemporality (human mind, including language). He later added a sixth – sociotemporality. What impact would impending catastrophic climate change have on this schematization? We argue first that, while change is central to time, change in the very shape of change marks a new threshold in Fraser’s sense. We work through what it means to be a passive spectator to radical transformation, how our human experience of time is intrinsically tied up with language, representation, and money (can we afford to prevent the end of the world?), and the impact of a shrinking future horizon on our identity, on the Enlightenment project, and on any hope of progress. Finally, inhabiting time historically is subject to many strange loops, including the breakdown of the inductive assurances that the past traditionally supplied. Extending Fraser’s scheme and (following Keller’s adumbration of a kairological time), we endorse the possibility and indeed necessity of a new threshold, a new temporal dispensation.

In: Time in Variance

Abstract

Climate change and the environmental crisis more generally confront us with the need to think survival beyond the single organism. This project proposes that storytelling, emplotment, and the connective impulse of the human mind, have the potential to awaken our awareness of our dual existence as individuated beings and, simultaneously, as assemblages embedded in the ecologies of which we are a part. I turn to the novel La última playa (The Last Beach), by Atilio Caballero, to explore this potentiality and argue that, while the life of the single living organism is guided by the linearity of J. T. Fraser’s biotemporal, the individual being aware of its embeddedness is open to the “ecotemporal.” Ecotemporality is not limited to the singular body; it is the experience of the shared inhabitation of a moment in time by living organisms and non-living matter who are, for better or worse, bound by the same material fate.

In: Time in Variance