The Significance of Death for Animals

Alastair Norcross

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195388923
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Significance of Death for Animals


This chapter examines different views about the significance of death for animals. It discusses the opinion of Jeremy Bentham that animals are “never the worse being dead” and Peter Singer's distinction between self-conscious and non-self-conscious animals. The chapter argues that the death of a merely sentient animal is morally significant because it prevents the existence of well-being, while the death of a self-conscious animal is personally significant.

Keywords: significance of death; animals; Jeremy Bentham; Peter Singer; self-conscious animals; well-being; sentient animal

Article.  5198 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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