Abstract

Here it is argued that the Manusmṛti attributes direct moral standing to animals and plants at least in part because they are sentient (i.e., capable of pleasure and pain). The argument for this goes as follows. The Manusmṛti claims that certain actions produce merit and demerit, which often cause pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain are suitable consequences of merit and demerit only if they have value and disvalue. The value and disvalue of pleasure and pain are not derived entirely from the value of the further ends to which they are a means. Hence, the value and disvalue of pleasure and pain are at least partly intrinsic. Hence, any entity capable of pleasure and pain has direct moral standing. The Manusmṛti claims that animals and plants are sentient. So the Manusmṛti attributes direct moral standing to animals and plants, at least in part because they are sentient.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 192-217
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-24
Open Access
No
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