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Hey there! Welcome to my website. I’m a philosopher working on animal minds and animal ethics. Feel free to nose around 🙂

If you want to get in touch with me, you can send me an email to susanamonso [at] gmail [dot] com

You can also find me on ResearchGate, Academia, and PhilPeople.

About me

I was born in Madrid in 1988. I hold a BA in Philosophy from Complutense University of Madrid, an MA in Global Ethics and Human Values from King’s College London, and a PhD in Philosophy from UNED, Spain. I have been a post-doc fellow at the University of Graz and I’m now based at the Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal Studies of the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna.

Since you clicked your way into this site, you may be interested in some further random facts about me:

My pronouns are she/her.

My surname is pronounced “mons-OH”, never “MONS-oh”.

I’m married to Spanish sci-fi and fantasy writer Javier Miró.

In my free time I enjoy acting, playing board games, binge-watching TV series, and reading novels with badass female characters.

If I could belong to a different species, I would choose to be a humpback whale.

I like talking about tardigrades (see picture below).

Picture: Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0

Research

I’m interested in what animals are capable of feeling and doing, and what this means for the sort of treatment that we owe them.

I’m currently involved in an FWF-funded Stand-alone project entitled ‘Morality in animals: What it means and why it matters.’ This project is led by Judith Benz-Schwarzburg and will have an estimated duration of three years. In this project, we plan to investigate the different forms, both positive and negative, that the moral capacities of animals may take. We also plan on mapping out the ethical implications of animal morality (you can check out our pilot study on this topic here).

In addition to this, I have been awarded a Lise Meitner scholarship on behalf of the FWF to study the concept of death in animals. This project will begin in September 2019 and take place over the course of two years. The research focus will be on whether any nonhuman species can understand death, and my ultimate aim is to contribute to the debate on the ethics of killing animals.

You can check out what I’ve written until now by having a look at my list of publications. In addition, here’s what I’m currently working on:

  • A paper on what it would take for animals to have a concept of death.
  • A paper on meaning in the lives of animals, with Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.
  • A paper on the role of touch in animal morality, with Birte Wrage.
  • A paper on moral individualism, with Herwig Grimm.
  • A paper on animal rationality, with Giacomo Melis.

Publications

Articles:

Pali-Schöll, I., Binder, R., Moens, Y., Polesny, F., & Monsó, S. (forthcoming): ‘Edible insects – defining knowledge gaps in biological and ethical considerations of entomophagy.’ Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 

Monsó, S. (2019): ‘Humans are superior — by human standards.’ Animal Sentience, 23 (17).

Monsó, S., Benz-Schwarzburg, J., & Bremhorst, A. (2018): ‘Animal morality: What it means and why it matters.’ The Journal of Ethics, 22 (3–4), 283–310.

Monsó, S. (2017): ‘Morality without mindreading.’ Mind & Language, 32 (3), 338–57.

Monsó, S. (2016): ‘The moral dimension of pre-reflective self-awareness.’ Animal Sentience 2016.121.

Monsó, S. (2015): ‘Empathy and morality in behaviour readers.’ Biology & Philosophy, 30 (5), 671-690.

Book chapters:

Andrews, K. & Monsó, S. (forthcoming): ‘Animal moral psychologies’ in Doris, J. & Vargas, M. (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rowlands, M. & Monsó, S. (2017): ‘Animals as reflexive thinkers: the aponoian paradigm’ in Kalof, L. (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies, pp: 319-343. New York: Oxford University Press.

Conference proceedings:

Monsó, S. (2018): ‘Why insect sentience might not matter very much’ in Springer, S. & Grimm, H. (eds.): Professionals in Food Chains: Ethics, Roles and Responsibilities, pp: 375–380. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.

Pali-Schöll, I., Monsó, S., Meinlschmidt, P., Purschke, B., Hofstetter, G., Einhorn, L., Mothes-Luksch, N. Jensen-Jarolim, E., & Jäger, H. (2018): ‘Edible insects in food and feed – far from being well characterized. Step 1: a look at allergenicity and ethical aspects’ in Springer, S. & Grimm, H. (eds.): Professionals in Food Chains: Ethics, Roles and Responsibilities, pp: 520–525. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.

Book reviews:

Monsó, S. (2017). ‘To be rational, or not to be rational—that is the question. Review of Michael Tye’s Tense Bees and Shell-Shocked Crabs: Are Animals Conscious?’ Metascience, 26 (3), 487–491.

Outreach:

Monsó, S. ‘¿Por qué se ríen los animales?’, El Español, 27/5/2016.

Monsó, S. ‘Tierische Intelligenzen’, Springerin 1/2018, pp. 6–7.

CV

You can download my CV by clicking here.