In Andrew Woodhall & Gabriel Garmendia da Trindade (eds.), Ethical and Political Approaches to Nonhuman Animal Issues. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 39-71 (2017)
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I argue for the moral relevance of a category of individuals I characterize as far-persons. Following Gary Varner, I distinguish near-persons, animals with a " robust autonoetic consciousness " but lacking an adult human's " biographical sense of self, " from the merely sentient, those animals living "entirely in the present." I note the possibility of a third class. Far-persons lack a biographical sense of self, possess a weak autonoetic consciousness, and are able to travel mentally through time a distance that exceeds the capacities of the merely sentient. Far-persons are conscious of and exercise control over short-term cognitive states, states limited by their temporal duration. The animals in question, human and nonhuman, consciously choose among various strategies available to them to achieve their ends, making them subjects of what I call "lyrical experience:" brief and potentially intense pleasures and pains. But their ends expire minute-by-minute, not stretching beyond, I say metaphorically, the present hour. I conclude by discussing the moral status of far-persons.

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Gary Comstock
North Carolina State University


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