I’m interested in what animals are capable of feeling, thinking, and doing, and what this means for the sort of treatment that we owe them.
I have been a Lise Meitner fellow at the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna, leading a project entitled ‘Animals and the Concept of Death’ (2019-2021). The purpose was to examine how nonhuman animals experience and understand death. The main research focus was a conceptual analysis of what understanding death amounts to, as well as an investigation of its cognitive requirements and an assessment of the pertinent empirical evidence being gathered in the fields of ethology and comparative psychology. I have also collaborated with some members of the Comparative Cognition team at the Messerli, designing experiments to test the ideas developed in the course of the project. All of this research culminated in a book, published in Spanish with Plaza y Valdés.
In addition to this, I’m involved in an FWF-funded Stand-alone project entitled ‘Morality in Animals: What It Means and Why It Matters,’ which is led by Judith Benz-Schwarzburg and ongoing since 2018. In this project, we are investigating the different forms, both positive and negative, that the moral capacities of animals may take. We are also devising new ways in which scientists can study these capacities, as well as mapping out the ethical implications of animal morality.
You can check out what I’ve written until now by having a look at my publications. In addition, here’s a list of works of mine that are currently in preparation or under review:
- A paper on meaning in the lives of animals, with Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.
- A paper on animal rationality, with Giacomo Melis.
- A paper on the cognitive requirements of a concept of death, with Laura Danón.
- A book chapter on animal disenhancement, with Sara Hintze.
- A paper on the philosophy of comparative cognition, with Kristin Andrews.
- Another paper on the philosophy of comparative cognition, with Richard Moore.