Is consciousness intrinsically valuable?

Philosophical Studies 175 (1):1–17 (2018)
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Is consciousness intrinsically valuable? Some theorists favor the positive view, according to which consciousness itself accrues intrinsic value, independent of the particular kind of experience instantiated. In contrast, I favor the neutral view, according to which consciousness is neither intrinsically valuable nor disvaluable. The primary purpose of this paper is to clarify what is at stake when we ask whether consciousness is intrinsically valuable, to carve out the theoretical space, and to evaluate the question rigorously. Along the way, I also show why the neutral view is attractive and why certain arguments for the positive view do not work.

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Andrew Y. Lee
University of Toronto at Scarborough


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