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Subjective Experience in Explanations of Animal PTSD Behavior

Hoffman, Kate Nicole (2020) Subjective Experience in Explanations of Animal PTSD Behavior. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition in which the experience of a traumatic event causes a series of psychiatric and behavioral symptoms such as hypervigilance, insomnia, irritability, aggression, constricted affect, and self-destructive behavior. This paper investigates two case studies to argue that the experience of PTSD is not restricted to humans alone; we have good epistemic reason to hold that some animals can experience genuine PTSD, given our current and best clinical understanding of the disorder in humans. I will use this evidence to argue for two claims. First, because the causal structure of PTSD plausibly requires reference to a traumatic conscious experience in order to explain subsequent behaviors, the fact that animals can have PTSD provides new evidence for animal consciousness. Second, the discovery of PTSD in animals puts pressure on accounts which hold that animal behavior can be fully explained without reference to subjective experience.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hoffman, Kate Nicolehoffmakn@sas.upenn.edu
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Kate Nicole Hoffman
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2021 06:08
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2021 06:08
Item ID: 20033
Official URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/48628590
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.5840/philtopics20204818
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20033

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