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Episode #54 - Sebo on the Moral Problem of Other Minds

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In this episode I talk to Jeff Sebo. Jeff is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy, and Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University.  Jeff’s research focuses on bioethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. He has two co-authored books Chimpanzee Rights and Food, Animals, and the Environment. We talk about something Jeff calls the 'moral problem of other minds', which is roughly the problem of what we should to if we aren't sure whether another being is sentient or not.You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher (the RSS feed is here). Show Notes0:00 - Introduction1:38 - What inspired Jeff to think about the moral problem of other minds?7:55 - The importance of sentience and our uncertainty about it12:32 - The three possible responses to the moral problem of other minds: (i) the incautionary principle; (ii) the precautionary principle and (iii) the expected value principle15:26 - Understanding the Incautionary Principle20:09 - Problems with the Incautionary Principle23:14 - Understanding the Precautionary Principle: More plausible than the incautionary principle?29:20 - Is morality a zero-sum game? Is there a limit to how much we can care about other beings?35:02 - The problem of demandingness in moral theory37:06 - Other problems with the precautionary principle41:41 - The Utilitarian Version of the Expected Value Principle47:36 - The problem of anthropocentrism in moral reasoning53:22 - The Kantian Version of the Expected Value Principle59:08 - Problems with the Kantian principle1:03:54 - How does the moral problem of other minds transfer over to other cases, e.g. abortion and uncertainty about the moral status of the foetus?Relevant LinksJeff's Homepage'The Moral Problem of Other Minds' by JeffChimpanzee Ethics by Jeff and orsFood, Animals and the Environment by Jeff and. . .

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News source: Philosophical Disquisitions

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