Ethics Without Sentience: Facing Up to the Probable Insignificance of Phenomenal Consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):180-204 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Phenomenal consciousness appears to be particularly normatively significant. For this reason, sentience-based conceptions of ethics are widespread. In the field of animal ethics, knowing which animals are sentient appears to be essential to decide the moral status of these animals. I argue that, given that materialism is true of the mind, phenomenal consciousness is probably not particularly normatively significant. We should face up to this probable insignificance of phenomenal consciousness and move towards an ethic without sentience.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Does sentience come in degrees?Andrew Y. Lee - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (20).
Phenomenal consciousness and intentionality.Dana K. Nelkin - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
Metaphysics of The Holy Trinity.Contzen Pereira - 2015 - Journal of Metaphysics and Connected Consciousness 1:66 - 68.
The Meta-Problem of Consciousness and the Evidential Approach.François Kammerer - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (9-10):124-135.
Phenomenal Consciousness.Dmitry Ivanov - 2009 - Analytica 3:19-36.
Could phenomenal consciousness function as a cognitive unconscious?Max Velmans - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):357-358.
Phenomenal consciousness lite: No thanks!J. Kevin O'Regan & Erik Myin - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):520-521.


Added to PP

1,369 (#8,560)

6 months
365 (#5,287)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

François Kammerer
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Citations of this work

Preserving the Normative Significance of Sentience.Leonard Dung - 2024 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 31 (1):8-30.
Understanding Artificial Agency.Leonard Dung - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
How to deal with risks of AI suffering.Leonard Dung - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Thinking About Consciousness.David Papineau - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

View all 26 references / Add more references