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Sentience is being capable of feeling, consciousness or having some form of mind. Eighteenth-century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think (reason) from the ability to feel (sentience).

Intelligence and sentience[change | change source]

In simple English, to be sentient means displaying and/or having the ability to:

  1. Feel
  2. Perceive
  3. Desire
  4. Will
  5. Personality

Philosophy and sentience[change | change source]

In the philosophy of consciousness, sentience can refer to the ability of any thing to have subjective perceptual experiences, or as some philosophers refer to them, "qualia".[1]

Animal rights and sentience[change | change source]

Thinking about sentience is important when studying animal rights. This is because feeling is needed in order to suffer. The basis of animal rights is that some animals have emotions, can feel pain and also feel happy and well.[2]

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