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Could All Life Be Sentient?

Thompson, Evan (2022) Could All Life Be Sentient? [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper concerns biopsychism, the position that feeling is a vital activity of all organisms or living beings. It evaluates biopsychism specifically from the perspective of the enactive conception of life and life-mind continuity. Does the enactive conception of life as fundamentally a value-constituting and value-driven process imply a conception of life as sentient of value? Although a plausible case can be made, there remains a conceptual and inferential gap between differential responsiveness to value and hedonic value or affective valence. Nevertheless, the case for zoopsychism—that animals are the only sentient living beings—over biopsychism is also inconclusive.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Thompson, Evan0000-0003-0084-8477
Keywords: affect, autopoiesis, biopsychism, consciousness, enactivism, feeling of being alive, hedonic value, life, life-mind continuity, panpsychism, sense-making, sentience, valence, value, zoopsychism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Comparative Psychology and Ethology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Dr Evan Thompson
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2022 02:16
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2022 02:16
Item ID: 20323
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Comparative Psychology and Ethology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: 6 March 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20323

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