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Sentientism, Wellbeing, and Environmentalism

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In this article, I wish to explore a plausible alternative to both sentientist ethics and holistic environmental ethics. In particular, I put forward the claim that creatures other than sentient ones have interests and, in virtue of that, moral standing. This thesis is in disagreement with sentientism insofar as it claims that sentience is not a prerequisite for moral consideration. Radical as it may sound, this view does not take us as far as the holism favoured by some environmentalists. In particular, on this view, the interests of collectives such as ecosystems and species are a positive function of the interests of the entities that make them up rather than something of an entirely different kind. Collectives are not the direct object of moral consideration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy and History of Ideas, Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 7, DK-8000 Ã…rhus C, Denmark., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2010-02-01

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