CFP: Special Issue "Critical Thinking and Animal Ethics"

Submission deadline: November 1, 2021

Topic areas


This Special Issue of Philosophies will address issues concerning critical thinking—broadly understood as intentional, reflective, evaluative thinking about thinking, especially about arguments, concepts, and definitions—about ethical issues concerning non-human animals. 

The broad topic, then, is more on the thought processes and methods of understanding and engaging with those ethical issues and less on the ethical issues themselves or directly, e.g., not arguments that some use of animals is wrong or not wrong, but reflections and insights about those arguments or argumentative strategies themselves. 

Potential topics include ethical issues about animals and:

  • Argument patterns, e.g., inference to the best explanation, analogies, appeals to probabilities and risks, and other forms of reasoning given for and about ethical conclusions about animals; 
  • Informal fallacies and other errors of reasoning; responsible and irresponsible methods of persuasion; intellectual virtues and vices;
  • Cognitive biases and distorting psychological and cultural mechanisms; psychological and social mechanisms that contribute to positive engagement and understanding; 
  • Humane education and other forms of ethics education; education in support of the use of animals;
  • Critical thinking and media influences; communicating concerns about animal ethics issues; media integrity and effectiveness;
  • Perceived or real alternatives, rivals and/or supplements to critical thinking: e.g., emotional engagement, visual sources of evidence, experiential learning, some appeals to authorities;  
  • Critical thinking in assessing empirical or scientific claims about animals themselves; critical thinking in and about scientific claims about animals;
  • Critical thinking about advocacy and activism: ends, means, options, predications, and strategy evaluation;
  • Critical thinking, as it is understood in different disciplines and different contexts, applied to these issues;
  • And many other potential topics!

The goal of this issue is to encourage reflection on the status of different types of arguments and persuasive attempts about ethics and animals. This reflection should yield critical-thinking insights into how to make stronger, more persuasive, and effective arguments and cases regarding ethics and animal issues. 

Given the broad interest in these topics, articles for this issue should be written in such a way that they will be valuable to experts in philosophy and ethics but also be accessible to scholars from all disciplines, as well as general readers, including social justice advocates and activists who work on ethical issues concerning animals. 

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 July 2021. Abstracts could be sent either via the special issue website or to guest editors via email, Nathan Nobis . The deadline for final manuscript submissions is 1 November 2021.

  • critical thinking
  • logic
  • informal logic
  • argumentation
  • ethics
  • bioethics
  • biomedical ethics
  • moral philosophy
  • applied epistemology
  • animals
  • animals and ethics
  • animal rights
  • animal welfare
  • veganism
  • vegetarianism
  • animal research
  • animal experimentation
  • speciesism

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