Beings of a life-span are equal: Rebutting Singer's sentience and Naess' deep ecology criteria for moral standing
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This article critically explores the assumptions of anthropocentricism, as well as the sentience and deep ecology arguments. While Peter Singer argues for the extension of moral standing to some non-human beings because they are sentient, Arne Naess believes that all living beings should be accorded moral standing because they have inherent value. I argue that both arguments present some difficulties. Sentience, for instance, may not be limited to a mere feeling of pain and pleasure because it also encapsulates aims, values and wants. Only rational creatures probably have these capacities. Naess does not seem to give us a clear argument as for why he believes all living beings have inherent value, infact one of his eight platform principles says human beings can only reduce richness and diversity if this will enable them to satisfy vital needs. I consider this to be a contradiction of his overall argument that living things have inherent value. I argue that human beings and non-human beings are only equal on the basis of their temporary natures, that is, they both have a definite life-span as defined by their creator and this is enough to dismiss men's domineering attitude towards non-human beings in nature.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael K. Green (1993). Images of Native Americans in Advertising: Some Moral Issues. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 12 (4):323 - 330.
Louis G. Lombardi (1983). Inherent Worth, Respect, and Rights. Environmental Ethics 5 (3):257-270.
Jeff McMahan (2005). “Our Fellow Creatures”. Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):353 - 380.
John Mizzoni (2004). St. Francis, Paul Taylor, and Franciscan Biocentrism. Environmental Ethics 26 (1):41-56.
S. Matthew Liao (2010). The Basis of Human Moral Status. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (2):159-179.
Deane Curtin (1996). A State of Mind Like Water: Ecosophy T and the Buddhist Traditions. Inquiry 39 (2):239 – 253.
Christopher Cordner (2005). Life and Death Matters: Losing a Sense of the Value of Human Beings. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (3):207-226.
L. E. E. Patrick & Robert P. George (2008). The Nature and Basis of Human Dignity. Ratio Juris 21 (2):173-193.
Benjamin Howe (2010). Was Arne Naess Recognized as the Founder of Deep Ecology Prematurely? Semantics and Environmental Philosophy. Environmental Ethics 32 (4):369-383.
Added to index2009-09-08
Total downloads14 ( #118,966 of 1,100,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #304,128 of 1,100,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?