Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):205-228 (2022)

Andrew Y. Lee
University of Oslo
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 asymmetry: (a) some non-humans clearly have interests, but (b) no non-conscious entities clearly have interests. This asymmetry, I argue, renders sentientism resistant to the standard argument against speciesism.
Keywords speciesism  sentientism  moral status  animal ethics  animal consciousness  sentience  value of consciousness  Peter Singer
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References found in this work BETA

Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Mental Reality.Galen Strawson - 1994 - MIT Press.
The Significance of Consciousness.Charles P. Siewert - 1998 - Princeton University Press.

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