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Consciousness and Moral Status

New York: Routledge (2018)

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  1. In search of the moral status of AI: why sentience is a strong argument.Martin Gibert & Dominic Martin - 2022 - AI and Society 37 (1):319-330.
    Is it OK to lie to Siri? Is it bad to mistreat a robot for our own pleasure? Under what condition should we grant a moral status to an artificial intelligence (AI) system? This paper looks at different arguments for granting moral status to an AI system: the idea of indirect duties, the relational argument, the argument from intelligence, the arguments from life and information, and the argument from sentience. In each but the last case, we find unresolved issues with (...)
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  • The sentience argument for experientialism about welfare.Willem van der Deijl - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):187-208.
    Can a person’s degree of wellbeing be affected by things that do not enter her experience? Experientialists deny that it can, extra-experientialists affirm it. The debate between these two positions has focused on an argument against experientialism—the experience machine objection—but few arguments exist for it. I present an argument for experientialism. It builds on the claim that theories of wellbeing should not only state what constitutes wellbeing, but also which entities are welfare subjects. Moreover, the claims it makes about these (...)
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  • Ethical (and epistemological) issues regarding consciousness in cerebral organoids.Joshua Shepherd - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (9):611-612.
    In this interesting paper, Lavazza and Massimini draw attention to a subset of the ethical issues surrounding the development and potential uses of cerebral organoids. This subset concerns the possibility that cerebral organoids may one day develop phenomenal consciousness, and thereby qualify as conscious subjects—that there may one day be something it is like to be an advanced cerebral organoid. This possibility may feel outlandish. But as Lavazza and Massimini demonstrate, the science of organoids is moving fast, and I agree (...)
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  • Human Brain Organoids and Consciousness.Takuya Niikawa, Yoshiyuki Hayashi, Joshua Shepherd & Tsutomu Sawai - 2022 - Neuroethics 15 (1):1-16.
    This article proposes a methodological schema for engaging in a productive discussion of ethical issues regarding human brain organoids, which are three-dimensional cortical neural tissues created using human pluripotent stem cells. Although moral consideration of HBOs significantly involves the possibility that they have consciousness, there is no widely accepted procedure to determine whether HBOs are conscious. Given that this is the case, it has been argued that we should adopt a precautionary principle about consciousness according to which, if we are (...)
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  • The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
    Recent work within such disparate research areas as the epistemology of perception, theories of well-being, animal and medical ethics, the philosophy of consciousness, and theories of understanding in philosophy of science and epistemology has featured disconnected discussions of what is arguably a single underlying question: What is the value of consciousness? The purpose of this paper is to review some of this work and place it within a unified theoretical framework that makes contributions (and contributors) from these disparate areas more (...)
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  • In search of the moral status of AI: why sentience is a strong argument.Martin Gibert & Dominic Martin - 2021 - AI and Society 1:1-12.
    Is it OK to lie to Siri? Is it bad to mistreat a robot for our own pleasure? Under what condition should we grant a moral status to an artificial intelligence system? This paper looks at different arguments for granting moral status to an AI system: the idea of indirect duties, the relational argument, the argument from intelligence, the arguments from life and information, and the argument from sentience. In each but the last case, we find unresolved issues with the (...)
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  • All Animals are Equal, but Some More than Others?Huub Brouwer & Willem van der Deijl - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (3):342-357.
    Does the moral badness of pain depend on who feels it? A common, but generally only implicitly stated view, is that it does not. This view, ‘unitarianism’, maintains that the same interests of different beings should count equally in our moral calculus. Shelly Kagan’s project in How to Count Animals, more or less is to reject this common view, and develop an alternative to it: a hierarchical view of moral status, on which the badness of pain does depend on who (...)
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  • Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate between a (...)
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  • Speciesism and Sentientism.Andrew Y. Lee - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):205-228.
    Many philosophers accept both of the following claims: (1) consciousness matters morally, and (2) species membership doesn’t matter morally. In other words, many reject speciesism but accept what we might call 'sentientism'. But do the reasons against speciesism yield analogous reasons against sentientism, just as the reasons against racism and sexism are thought to yield analogous reasons against speciesism? This paper argues that speciesism is disanalogous to sentientism (as well as racism and sexism). I make a case for the following (...)
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  • On the Essence of Aesthetic Attention.Foteini Charalampidou - unknown
    Bence Nanay holds, that attention which is focused on one object, and distributed acrossits properties, gives rise to disinterestedness in phenomenal experience, and it therefore is involved in the occurence of the most paradigmatic kind of aesthetic experience.It is for this reason, that Nanay defines this sort of attention as "aesthetic attention". In this thesis, I point out, that Nanay's doctrine does justice to facts and phenomena,and that it succeeds in specifiying one of the necessary conditions, of what he takes (...)
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  • Ethischer Diskurs zu Epigenetik und Genomeditierung: die Gefahr eines (epi-)genetischen Determinismus und naturwissenschaftlich strittiger Grundannahmen.Karla Karoline Sonne Kalinka Alex & Eva C. Winkler - 2021 - In Boris Fehse, Ferdinand Hucho, Sina Bartfeld, Stephan Clemens, Tobias Erb, Heiner Fangerau, Jürgen Hampel, Martin Korte, Lilian Marx-Stölting, Stefan Mundlos, Angela Osterheider, Anja Pichl, Jens Reich, Hannah Schickl, Silke Schicktanz, Jochen Taupitz, Jörn Walter, Eva Winkler & Martin Zenke (eds.), Fünfter Gentechnologiebericht: Sachstand und Perspektiven für Forschung und Anwendung. Baden-Baden, Deutschland.: Nomos. DOI: 10.5771/9783748927242. pp. 299-323.
    Slightly modified excerpt from the section 13.4 Zusammenfassung und Ausblick (translated into englisch): This chapter is based on an analysis of ethical debates on epigenetics and genome editing, debates, in which ethical arguments relating to future generations and justice play a central role. The analysis aims to contextualize new developments in genetic engineering, such as genome and epigenome editing, ethically. At the beginning, the assumptions of "genetic determinism," on which "genetic essentialism" is based, of "epigenetic determinism" as well as "genetic" (...)
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