Beings of a life-span are equal: Rebutting Singer's sentience and Naess' deep ecology criteria for moral standing

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)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,208
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Inherent Worth, Respect, and Rights.Louis G. Lombardi - 1983 - Environmental Ethics 5 (3):257-270.
“Our Fellow Creatures”.Jeff McMahan - 2005 - Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):353 - 380.
St. Francis, Paul Taylor, and Franciscan Biocentrism.John Mizzoni - 2004 - Environmental Ethics 26 (1):41-56.
The Basis of Human Moral Status.S. Matthew Liao - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (2):159-179.
A State of Mind Like Water: Ecosophy T and the Buddhist Traditions.Deane Curtin - 1996 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):239 – 253.
Life and Death Matters: Losing a Sense of the Value of Human Beings.Christopher Cordner - 2005 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (3):207-226.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #272,015 of 2,172,819 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #324,903 of 2,172,819 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums