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  1. Hedonic Consciousness and Moral Status.Declan Smithies - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    Which beings have moral status? I argue that moral status requires some capacity for hedonic feelings of pleasure or displeasure. David Chalmers rejects this view on the grounds that it denies moral status to Vulcans, which are defined as conscious creatures with no capacity for hedonic feelings. On his more inclusive view, all conscious beings have moral status. We agree that only conscious beings have moral status, but we disagree about how to explain this. I argue that we cannot explain (...)
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  • 意識をめぐる新たな生物学的自然主義の可能性.小草 泰 & 新川 拓哉 - 2024 - Journal of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 51 (1-2):115-135.
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  • Consciousness and welfare subjectivity.Gwen Bradford - 2022 - Noûs 57 (4):905-921.
    Many philosophers tacitly accept the View: consciousness is necessary for being a welfare subject. That is, in order to be an eligible bearer of welfare goods and bads, an entity must be capable of phenomenal consciousness. However, this paper argues that, in the absence of a compelling rationale, we are not licensed to accept the View, because doing so amounts to fallacious reasoning in theorizing about welfare: insisting on the View when consciousness is not in fact important for welfare value (...)
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  • Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate between a (...)
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  • Degrees of Consciousness.Andrew Y. Lee - 2023 - Noûs 57 (3):553-575.
    Is a human more conscious than an octopus? In the science of consciousness, it’s oftentimes assumed that some creatures (or mental states) are more conscious than others. But in recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that the notion of degrees of consciousness is conceptually confused. This paper (1) argues that the most prominent objections to degrees of consciousness are unsustainable, (2) examines the semantics of ‘more conscious than’ expressions, (3) develops an analysis of what it is for a (...)
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  • Testing the Correlates of Consciousness in Brain Organoids: How Do We Know and What Do We Do?Rachel A. Ankeny & Ernst Wolvetang - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (1):51-53.
    What consciousness exactly is remains an unsettled issue among both philosophers and biologists. Three aspects of consciousness are generally recognized: awareness consciousness (through connection...
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  • Consciousness is Sublime.Takuya Niikawa - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Does consciousness have non-instrumental aesthetic value? This paper answers this question affirmatively by arguing that consciousness is sublime. The argument consists of three premises. (1) An awe experience of an object provides prima facie justification to believe that the object is sublime. (2) I have an awe experience about consciousness through introspecting three features of consciousness, namely the mystery of consciousness, the connection between consciousness and well-being, and the phenomenological complexity of consciousness. (3) There is no good defeater of the (...)
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  • Phenomenal consciousness and moral status: taking the moral option.Joseph Gough - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Intuitively, there is a close link between moral status and phenomenal consciousness. Taking the link seriously can serve as the basis of a proposal that appears to have a surprising number of theoretical benefits. This proposal is the moral option, according to which moral status is partly determinative of phenomenal consciousness, and phenomenal consciousness is sufficient for possession of a moral property I refer to as “moral status.” I argue for this view on the basis of its ability to shed (...)
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  • The Ethics of Human Brain Organoid Transplantation in Animals.Tsutomu Sawai, Julian Savulescu, Christopher Gyngell & Masanori Kataoka - 2023 - Neuroethics 16 (3):1-15.
    In this paper, we outline how one might conduct a comprehensive ethical evaluation of human brain organoid transplantation in animals. Thus far, ethical concerns regarding this type of research have been assumed to be similar to those associated with other transplants of human cells in animals, and have therefore not received significant attention. The focus has been only on the welfare, moral status, or mental capacities of the host animal. However, the transplantation of human brain organoids introduces several new ethical (...)
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  • Patentability of Brain Organoids derived from iPSC– A Legal Evaluation with Interdisciplinary Aspects.Hannes Wolff - 2024 - Neuroethics 17 (1):1-15.
    Brain Organoids in their current state of development are patentable. Future brain organoids may face some challenges in this regard, which I address in this contribution. Brain organoids unproblematically fulfil the general prerequisites of patentability set forth in Art. 3 (1) EU-Directive 98/44/ec (invention, novelty, inventive step and susceptibility of industrial application). Patentability is excluded if an invention makes use of human embryos or constitutes a stage of the human body in the individual phases of its formation and development. Both (...)
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  • The Neutrality of Life.Andrew Y. Lee - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (3):685-703.
    Some philosophers think that life is worth living not merely because of the goods and the bads within it, but also because life itself is good. I explain how this idea can be formalized by associating each version of such of a view with a function from length of life to the value generated by life itself. Then I argue that every version of the view that life itself is good faces some version of the following dilemma: either (1) good (...)
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  • Kinds and classification in consciousness science.Cecily Whiteley - 2022 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    Understanding the biological basis of consciousness is one of the central challenges for modern science. Is a mature scientific explanation really possible, and if so, how should consciousness science be organized so as to achieve this? This thesis is a collection of four papers which approach these questions via an account of the natural categories or ‘kinds’, drawn from philosophy of science, to which paradigmatic mental phenomena like consciousness belong. The central claims defended in the thesis are twofold. Firstly, that (...)
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  • The ethics of stem cell research: can the disagreements be resolved?J. H. Solbakk & S. Holm - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (12):831-832.
    It is now 10 years ago that human embryonic stem cell research appeared as a major topic of societal concern following significant scientific breakthroughs.1 2 During these 10 years it has become obvious that stem cell research is embedded in a narrative characterised by hope and hype and that it has created heated moral and political debate. Although it would be tempting to try to deconstruct the importance attributed to hope in this story or to unmask the different instigators active (...)
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  • Which Animals Matter?Henry Shevlin - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):177-200.
    Most people will grant that we bear special moral obligations toward at least some nonhuman animals that we do not bear toward inanimate objects like stones, mountains, or works of art. These moral obligations are plausibly grounded in the fact that many if not all nonhuman animals share important psychological states and capacities with us, such as consciousness, suffering, and goal-directed behavior. But which of these states and capacities are really critical for a creature’s possessing moral status, and how can (...)
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  • Sentience, Vulcans, and Zombies: The Value of Phenomenal Consciousness.Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-11.
    Many think that a specific aspect of phenomenal consciousness – valenced or affective experience – is essential to consciousness’s moral significance (valence sentientism). They hold that valenced experience is necessary for well-being, or moral status, or psychological intrinsic value (or all three). Some think that phenomenal consciousness generally is necessary for non-derivative moral significance (broad sentientism). Few think that consciousness is unnecessary for moral significance (non-necessitarianism). In this paper I consider the prospects for these views. I first consider the prospects (...)
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  • Ethical (and epistemological) issues regarding consciousness in cerebral organoids.Joshua Shepherd - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (9):611-612.
    In this interesting paper, Lavazza and Massimini draw attention to a subset of the ethical issues surrounding the development and potential uses of cerebral organoids. This subset concerns the possibility that cerebral organoids may one day develop phenomenal consciousness, and thereby qualify as conscious subjects—that there may one day be something it is like to be an advanced cerebral organoid. This possibility may feel outlandish. But as Lavazza and Massimini demonstrate, the science of organoids is moving fast, and I agree (...)
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  • Scientific and Ethical Uncertainties in Brain Organoid Research.Arun Sharma, Peter Zuk & Christopher Thomas Scott - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (1):48-51.
    Hank Greely’s target article, “Human Brain Surrogates Research: The Onrushing Ethical Dilemma” reviews the manifold scientific and ethical questions surrounding models of human brains used i...
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  • Mapping the Ethical Issues of Brain Organoid Research and Application.Tsutomu Sawai, Yoshiyuki Hayashi, Takuya Niikawa, Joshua Shepherd, Elizabeth Thomas, Tsung-Ling Lee, Alexandre Erler, Momoko Watanabe & Hideya Sakaguchi - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 13 (2):81-94.
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  • Sentientism, Motivation, and Philosophical Vulcans.Luke Roelofs - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (2):301-323.
    If moral status depends on the capacity for consciousness, what kind of consciousness matters exactly? Two popular answers are that any kind of consciousness matters (Broad Sentientism), and that what matters is the capacity for pleasure and suffering (Narrow Sentientism). I argue that the broad answer is too broad, while the narrow answer is likely too narrow, as Chalmers has recently argued by appeal to ‘philosophical Vulcans’. I defend a middle position, Motivational Sentientism, on which what matters is motivating consciousness: (...)
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  • Panpsychism, intuitions, and the great chain of being.Luke Roelofs & Jed Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2991-3017.
    Some philosophical theories of consciousness imply consciousness in things we would never intuitively think are conscious—most notably, panpsychism implies that consciousness is pervasive, even outside complex brains. Is this a reductio ab absurdum for such theories, or does it show that we should reject our original intuitions? To understand the stakes of this question as clearly as possible, we analyse the structured pattern of intuitions that panpsychism conflicts with. We consider a variety of ways that the tension between this intuition (...)
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  • Human Brain Organoids and Consciousness.Takuya Niikawa, Yoshiyuki Hayashi, Joshua Shepherd & Tsutomu Sawai - 2022 - Neuroethics 15 (1):1-16.
    This article proposes a methodological schema for engaging in a productive discussion of ethical issues regarding human brain organoids, which are three-dimensional cortical neural tissues created using human pluripotent stem cells. Although moral consideration of HBOs significantly involves the possibility that they have consciousness, there is no widely accepted procedure to determine whether HBOs are conscious. Given that this is the case, it has been argued that we should adopt a precautionary principle about consciousness according to which, if we are (...)
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  • The Scientific Study of Consciousness Cannot and Should Not Be Morally Neutral.Matan Mazor, Simon Brown, Anna Ciaunica, Athena Demertzi, Johannes Fahrenfort, Nathan Faivre, Jolien C. Francken, Dominique Lamy, Bigna Lenggenhager, Michael Moutoussis, Marie-Christine Nizzi, Roy Salomon, David Soto, Timo Stein & Nitzan Lubianiker - 2023 - Perspectives on Psychological Science 18 (3):535-543.
    A target question for the scientific study of consciousness is how dimensions of consciousness, such as the ability to feel pain and pleasure or reflect on one’s own experience, vary in different states and animal species. Considering the tight link between consciousness and moral status, answers to these questions have implications for law and ethics. Here we point out that given this link, the scientific community studying consciousness may face implicit pressure to carry out certain research programs or interpret results (...)
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  • Human cerebral organoids and consciousness: a double-edged sword.Andrea Lavazza - 2020 - Monash Bioethics Review 38 (2):105-128.
    Human cerebral organoids (HCOs) are three-dimensional in vitro cell cultures that mimic the developmental process and organization of the developing human brain. In just a few years this technique has produced brain models that are already being used to study diseases of the nervous system and to test treatments and drugs. Currently, HCOs consist of tens of millions of cells and have a size of a few millimeters. The greatest limitation to further development is due to their lack of vascularization. (...)
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  • What is ontology? A dialogue.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Think 18 (53):49-65.
    This dialogue presents a substantive account of the nature and aim of ontology.Export citation.
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  • The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
    Recent work within such disparate research areas as the epistemology of perception, theories of well-being, animal and medical ethics, the philosophy of consciousness, and theories of understanding in philosophy of science and epistemology has featured disconnected discussions of what is arguably a single underlying question: What is the value of consciousness? The purpose of this paper is to review some of this work and place it within a unified theoretical framework that makes contributions (and contributors) from these disparate areas more (...)
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  • The Normative Challenge for Illusionist Views of Consciousness.Francois Kammerer - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Illusionists about phenomenal consciousness claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist but merely seems to exist. At the same time, it is quite intuitive for there to be some kind of link between phenomenality and value. For example, some situations seem good or bad in virtue of the conscious experiences they feature. Illusionist views of phenomenal consciousness then face what I call the normative challenge. They have to say where they stand regarding the idea that there is a link between (...)
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  • Preserving the Normative Significance of Sentience.Leonard Dung - 2024 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 31 (1):8-30.
    According to an orthodox view, the capacity for conscious experience (sentience) is relevant to the distribution of moral status and value. However, physicalism about consciousness might threaten the normative relevance of sentience. According to the indeterminacy argument, sentience is metaphysically indeterminate while indeterminacy of sentience is incompatible with its normative relevance. According to the introspective argument (by François Kammerer), the unreliability of our conscious introspection undercuts the justification for belief in the normative relevance of consciousness. I defend the normative relevance (...)
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  • Does illusionism imply skepticism of animal consciousness?Leonard Dung - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-19.
    Illusionism about consciousness entails that phenomenal consciousness doesn’t exist. The distribution question concerns the distribution of consciousness in the animal kingdom. Skepticism of animal consciousness is the view that few or no kinds of animals possess consciousness. Thus, illusionism seems to imply a skeptical view on the distribution question. However, I argue that illusionism and skepticism of animal consciousness are actually orthogonal to each other. If illusionism is true, then phenomenal consciousness does not ground intrinsic value so that the non-existence (...)
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  • The Sublime of Consciousness.Takuya Niikawa & Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    The aesthetic tradition has identified as paradigmatically sublime such objects as imposing mountains and intense storms, as well as monumental art. But the tradition also acknowledges less paradigmatic cases, including sometimes mathematical structures or abstract concepts. In this paper, we argue that there is also a case for considering phenomenal consciousness – the experiential quality of subjective awareness – as a sublime phenomenon. One appreciates this, we argue, when one is struck by (fitting) awe upon contemplating (a) the perplexing existence (...)
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  • Better never to have been in the wild: a case for weak wildlife antinatalism.Ludwig Raal - unknown
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  • Some Perspectives on Moral Status of Human Brain Organoids : With Focus on Consciousness and the “We” as Humans.Yoshiyuki Yokoro - 2023 - Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy 14:1-13.
    Human brain organoids are three-dimensional structures that reproduce the structure and function of the human brain in vitro. In this paper, I focus on the question of the moral status future human brain organoids will occupy. It is generally believed that the moral status a being occupies depend on sentience it possesses. However, in this paper, I argue that the presence or absence of a “consciousness” other than sentience may also have moral importance in the light of the features that (...)
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  • Speciesism and Sentientism.Andrew Y. Lee - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):205-228.
    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 (...)
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