Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 383–403 | Cite as

The Phenomenal Stance Revisited

  • Anthony I. Jack
  • Philip Robbins


In this article, we present evidence of a bidirectional coupling between moral concern and the attribution of properties and states that are associated with experience (e.g., conscious awareness, feelings). This coupling is also shown to be stronger with experience than for the attribution of properties and states more closely associated with agency (e.g., free will, thoughts). We report the results of four studies. In the first two studies, we vary the description of the mental capacities of a creature, and assess the effects of these manipulations on moral concern. The third and fourth studies examine the effects of variations in moral concern on attributions of mindedness. Results from the first two studies indicate that moral concern depends primarily on the attribution of experience, rather than the attribution of agency. The results of the latter two studies demonstrate that moral concern increases attributions of mindedness, and that this effect is stronger for attributions of experience than for attributions of agency.


Moral Consideration Moral Concern Moral Cognition Phenomenal Consciousness Intentional Agency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Cognitive Science (primary), Philosophy, Psychology, Bioethics, Neuroscience and NeurologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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