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Committee Members

Erik Banks (Advisor), Julienne Weinzimmer (Advisor), Scott Wilson (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Humanities (MHum)


In this paper, I will argue against Peter Singer's replaceability argument. I start by showing how Singer's ethical theory of preference-utilitarianism leads to his assertion that everyone should be vegetarian, and later his conclusion that some animals are replaceable. To refute Singer, I argue that death deprives sentient beings of pleasure, and any other good they are capable of experiencing, so death is harmful to animals. Next, I discuss one last claim central to Singer's replaceability argument, that merely sentient animals are not the same individual between periods of consciousness because they have no memory or psychological connections. I refute the claim that they don't retain their individuality by arguing that their individuality is biological, rather than psychology. I conclude that merely sentient beings are biological individuals who are harmed by death because death deprives them of pleasure. Thus, they are not replaceable.

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