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ConsciousnessEssays from a Higher-Order Perspective$
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Peter Carruthers

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277360

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199277362.001.0001

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Sympathy and Subjectivity

Sympathy and Subjectivity

Chapter:
(p.157) CHAPTER 9 Sympathy and Subjectivity
Source:
Consciousness
Author(s):

Peter Carruthers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199277362.003.0009

Shows that even if the mental states of non-human animals lack phenomenal properties, as some accounts of mental-state consciousness imply, this need not prevent those states from being appropriate objects of sympathy and moral concern. Argues that the most basic form of mental (as opposed to biological) harm lies in the existence of thwarted agency, or thwarted desire, rather than in anything phenomenological. So, provided that animals are capable of desire, and of sometimes believing, of the objects desired, that they have not been achieved, then sympathy for their situation can be entirely appropriate.

Keywords:   animal beliefs, animal consciousness, animal desires, desire frustration, psychological harm, sympathy

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