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  1. 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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  • Non-Human Moral Status: Problems with Phenomenal Consciousness.Joshua Shepherd - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 14 (2):148-157.
    Consciousness-based approaches to non-human moral status maintain that consciousness is necessary for (some degree or level of) moral status. While these approaches are intuitive to many, in this paper I argue that the judgment that consciousness is necessary for moral status is not secure enough to guide policy regarding non-humans, that policies responsive to the moral status of non-humans should take seriously the possibility that psychological features independent of consciousness are sufficient for moral status. Further, I illustrate some practical consequences (...)
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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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