Speciesism and Sentientism

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


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.



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

The Psychological Speciesism of Humanism.Carrie Figdor - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178:1545-1569.
Is speciesism opposed to liberationism?Tzachi Zamir - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (4):465-475.
Speciesism.Joan Dunayer - 2004 - Derwood, Md.: Ryce.
From moral rights to constitutional rights: beyond élitist and electiv speciesism.Sônia T. Felipe - 2007 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 6 (2):205–216.
Speciesism as a Moral Heuristic.Stijn Bruers - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (2):489-501.
A compassionate autonomy alternative to speciesism.Constance K. Perry - 2001 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (3):237-246.
Singer’s Notion of Speciesism: A Case for Animal Rights in Ejagham Culture.Lawrence Odey Ojong - 2019 - International Journal of Environmental Pollution and Environmental Modelling 2 (3):116-121.
The Relevance of Speciesism to Life Sciences Practices.Roger Wertheimer - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (9999):27-38.


Added to PP

1,193 (#7,738)

6 months
442 (#1,747)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Andrew Y. Lee
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Citations of this work

Non-Human Moral Status: Problems with Phenomenal Consciousness.Joshua Shepherd - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 14 (2):148-157.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.Jeremy Bentham - 1780 - New York: Dover Publications. Edited by J. H. Burns & H. L. A. Hart.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
The Significance of Consciousness.Charles P. Siewert - 1998 - Princeton University Press.
Mental Reality.Galen Strawson - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

View all 54 references / Add more references