Susana Monsó

Susana Monsó
National Distance Education University | UNED · Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of Science

PhD in Philosophy

About

23
Publications
9,169
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
184
Citations
Citations since 2016
22 Research Items
180 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
Introduction
I'm an assistant professor at the Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of Science of UNED (Madrid). I'm interested in how we can conceptualise and study the socio-cognitive abilities of animals, as well as in their ethical implications.
Additional affiliations
September 2021 - present
National Distance Education University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2018 - August 2021
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2018 - August 2018
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2012 - September 2016
September 2011 - September 2012
King's College London
Field of study
  • Human Values and Global Ethics
October 2006 - June 2011
Complutense University of Madrid
Field of study
  • Philosophy

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
It has been argued that some animals are moral subjects, that is, beings who are capable of behaving on the basis of moral motivations (Rowlands 2011, 2012, 2017). In this paper, we do not challenge this claim. Instead, we presuppose its plausibility in order to explore what ethical consequences follow from it. Using the capabilities approach (Nuss...
Chapter
Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behavior have led academics and the public alike to ask whether morality is shared between humans and other animals. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other philosophers argue t...
Article
Full-text available
It is generally assumed that humans are the only animals who can possess a concept of death. However, the ubiquity of death in nature and the evolutionary advantages that would come with an understanding of death provide two prima facie reasons for doubting this assumption. In this paper, my intention is not to defend that animals of this or that n...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that scientists working on the animal morality debate have been operating with a narrow view of morality that prematurely limits the variety of moral practices that animals may be capable of. We show how this bias can be partially corrected by paying more attention to the touch behaviours of animals. We argue that a careful...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative thanatologists study the responses to the dead and the dying in nonhu-man animals. Despite the wide variety of thanatological behaviours that have been documented in several different species, comparative thanatologists assume that the concept of death (CoD) is very difficult to acquire and will be a rare cognitive feat once we move pas...
Article
Full-text available
Thinking about our own death and its salience in relation to decision making has become a fruitful area of multidisciplinary research across the breadth of psychological science. By bringing together experts from philosophy, cognitive and affective neuroscience, clinical and computational psychiatry we have attempted to set out the current state of...
Article
Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behaviour have prompted the question of whether morality is shared between humans and other animals, with little agreement on the answer. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other...
Article
Moral psychology is the study of how human minds make and are made by human morality. This state of the art volume covers contemporary philosophical and psychological work on moral psychology, as well as notable historical theories and figures in the field of moral psychology, such as Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, and the Buddha. The volume’s 50 chap...
Chapter
Full-text available
The growing academic interest in animals and in their abilities and interactions with humans, along with insights from behavioural biology and philosophical reflections on animals, have led to a reassessment of the relationship between humans and animals—and this has had consequences for theology, which must investigate the philosophical and theolo...
Article
Full-text available
Humans interact with animals in numerous ways and on numerous levels. We are indeed living in an "animal"s world,' in the sense that our lives are very much intertwined with the lives of animals. This also means that animals, like those dogs we commonly refer to as our pets, are living in a "human's world" in the sense that it is us, not them, who,...
Article
Full-text available
In their target article, Mikhalevich & Powell (M&P) argue that we should extend moral protection to arthropods. In this commentary, we show that there are some unforeseen obstacles to applying the sort of individualistic welfare-based ethics that M&P have in mind to certain arthropods, namely, insects. These obstacles have to do with the fact that...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we analyse the Wittgensteinian critique of the orthodoxy in animal ethics that has been championed by Cora Diamond and Alice Crary. While Crary frames it as a critique of “moral individualism”, we show that their criticism applies most prominently to certain forms of moral individualism (namely, those that follow hedonistic or prefer...
Article
Full-text available
While seeking novel food sources to feed the increasing population of the globe, several alternatives have been discussed, including algae, fungi or in vitro meat. The increasingly propagated usage of farmed insects for human nutrition raises issues regarding food safety, consumer information and animal protection. In line with law, insects like an...
Article
Review of 'Varieties of Empathy: Moral Psychology and Animal Ethics' by Elisa Aaltola
Article
Full-text available
Chapman & Huffman argue that humans are neither unique nor superior to other animals. I believe they are right in claiming that we are no more unique than any other species, but wrong in assuming that this means we cannot be ranked as superior. I show how this need not undermine the central aim of their target article, for superiority can only be m...
Article
Full-text available
Review of Michael Tye: Tense bees and shell-shocked crabs: Are animals conscious? New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, 256pp, $29.95 HB In this highly enjoyable, carefully argued, thought-provoking book, Michael Tye invites us to consider the difficult question of how widespread consciousness is in nature. Despite its circumscribed title, Tens...
Article
Full-text available
Could animals behave morally if they can’t mindread? Does morality require mindreading capacities? Moral psychologists believe mindreading is contingently involved in moral judgements. Moral philosophers argue that moral behaviour necessarily requires the possession of mindreading capacities. In this paper, I argue that, while the former may be rig...
Chapter
Full-text available
The ability to engage in reflexive thought—in thought about thought or about other mental states more generally—is regarded as a complex intellectual achievement that is beyond the capacities of most nonhuman animals. To the extent that reflexive thought capacities are believed necessary for the possession of many other psychological states or capa...
Article
Full-text available
Rowlands offers a de-intellectualised account of personhood that is meant to secure the unity of a mental life. I argue that his characterisation also singles out a morally relevant feature of individuals. Along the same lines that the orthodox understanding of personhood reflects a fundamental precondition for moral agency, Rowlands's notion provi...
Article
Full-text available
It is tempting to assume that being a moral creature requires the capacity to attribute mental states to others, because a creature cannot be moral unless she is capable of comprehending how her actions can have an impact on the well-being of those around her. If this assumption were true, then mere behaviour readers could never qualify as moral, f...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Humans have long been understood as the only creatures who have a concept of death. Animals have historically been portrayed as creatures who cannot understand what happens to another being when she dies, and who have absolutely no clue about their own mortality. Within the field of animal ethics, animals’ purported lack of a concept of death has been used by many authors to argue that killing an animal poses no ethical problem, so long as it is done in a quick and painless manner. In recent years, however, scientists have begun to gather evidence that suggests that this view of animals may be mistaken. Chimpanzees have been seen apparently testing for signs of life and offering nurturance to dead bodies of other chimpanzees. Crows have been found to gather around their deceased to learn about the circumstances of their death and potential sources of danger. Mothers from a wide range of species have been witnessed carrying the bodies of their dead infants for long periods of time. Does this all mean that these animals can understand death? Or are these behaviours the result of instincts, hormones gone awry, or simple confusion? This project, entitled “Animals and the Concept of Death”, aims to give an answer to these questions by engaging in the first in-depth philosophical exploration of animals’ understanding of death. The project will consist of two main tasks. The first task is to determine exactly what it means for an animal to possess a concept of death. Using the literature on concept possession in animals from the field of philosophy of animal minds, as well as the research on children’s understanding of death from the discipline of developmental psychology, this first task will result in a clear picture of the conditions that have to be met for an animal to be credited with possessing a concept of death. The second task will then be to look at the evidence that scientists have gathered so far, in order to see whether any of it actually supports the idea that animals have a concept of death.
Project
This project firstly aims to specify the characteristics and cognitive requirements of moral emotions in animals. Whereas the current debate mostly concentrates on empathy/sympathy and on morally good behavior, the members of this project will engage in an analysis of other moral emotions, such as patience, compassion, guilt, and grief and, furthermore, consider negative moral emotions, such as cruelty, jealousy, schadenfreude, and callousness. Secondly, the project will deal with whether the attribution of morality to animals comes with ethical implications – a dimension that scholars in the debate have widely neglected. In particular, we aim to determine whether there are any specific rights or duties that follow from animals' possession of moral capacities, and what this would mean for the assessment of our current practices involving animals.