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  1. The Origins of Consciousness or the War of the Five Dimensions.Walter Veit - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (4):276-291.
    The goal of this article is to break down the dimensions of consciousness, attempt to reverse engineer their evolutionary function, and make sense of the origins of consciousness by breaking off those dimensions that are more likely to have arisen later. A Darwinian approach will allow us to revise the philosopher’s concept of consciousness away from a single “thing,” an all-or-nothing quality, and towards a concept of phenomenological complexity that arose out of simple valenced states. Finally, I will offer support (...)
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  • Towards a Comparative Study of Animal Consciousness.Walter Veit - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (4):292-303.
    In order to develop a true biological science of consciousness, we have to remove humans from the center of reference and develop a bottom-up comparative study of animal minds, as Donald Griffin intended with his call for a “cognitive ethology.” In this article, I make use of the pathological complexity thesis (Veit 2022a, b, c ) to show that we can firmly ground a comparative study of animal consciousness by drawing on the resources of state-based behavioral life history theory. By (...)
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  • Why the Epistemic Objection Against Using Sentience as Criterion of Moral Status is Flawed.Leonard Dung - 2022 - Science and Engineering Ethics 28 (6):1-15.
    According to a common view, sentience is necessary and sufficient for moral status. In other words, whether a being has intrinsic moral relevance is determined by its capacity for conscious experience. The _epistemic objection_ derives from our profound uncertainty about sentience. According to this objection, we cannot use sentience as a _criterion_ to ascribe moral status in practice because we won’t know in the foreseeable future which animals and AI systems are sentient while ethical questions regarding the possession of moral (...)
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