Publication 7964

Thompson E. (2022) Could all life be sentient?. Journal of Consciousness Studies 29(3–4): 229–265. Fulltext at
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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