We are Sentientists

Why are these people considered ‘nearly’ sentientist?

These are people who have been nominated as a Suspected Sentientist, but don’t seem to be Sentientist (yet). This is either because they don’t seem to have a naturalistic worldview (committed to evidence and reason, rejecting supernatural beliefs) or because they don’t seem to grant meaningful moral consideration to all sentient beings.

Thank you for nominating people. If you have further input I’d love to hear it in the comments for each person. If you are one of these people, feel free to correct things and post yourself on our Wall of Sentientists!

Emerson Green

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Emerson is the host of the Counter Apologetics & Walden Pod podcasts. Both are also available on his  @Emerson Green  YouTube channel.

He is an atheist and has a naturalistic worldview. He is “nearly” vegan, so is working on putting his sentiocentric moral scope into practice.

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.

Emerson’s LinkTree
Emerson’s Blog

Pearl Monique Cole Brunt

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Pearl describes herself as “poly-vocational”. She is a foreign relations & management consultant with an MA in International Relations & an MBA in International Business. She is a vegan whole foods advocate via her “Le Twisted Spoon” club. Pearl is also a community organiser and public speaker.

Pearl generally has a naturalistic worldview but does believe there is “someone bigger than myself that clearly loves me”. She is vegan.

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.


Christopher Hitchens

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Christopher was an author and journalist who wrote or edited over 30 books and countless articles (with the New Statesman, The Nation, Vanity Fair and many others) on culture, politics, and literature.

Christopher described himself as an anti-theist who saw all religions as false, harmful and authoritarian. He argued for a naturalistic approach including free expression and scientific discovery and asserted that these provided superior groundings (vs. religion or the supernatural) for ethical codes of conduct. He also advocated separation of church and state. The dictum “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” has become known as Hitchens’s razor.

Although he seemed to grant moral consideration to non-human sentient beings he continued to consume products made from farming animals. In this Atlantic piece he wrote: “the shepherd protects the sheep and the lambs not for their own good but the better to fleece and then to slay them.”; “when I read of the possible annihilation of the elephant or the whale, or the pouring of oven cleaner or cosmetics into the eyes of live kittens, or the close confinement of pigs and calves in lightless pens, I feel myself confronted by human stupidity, which I recognize as an enemy.” and “Like the quality of mercy, the prompting of compassion is not finite, and can be self-replenishing.”

Christopher Hitchens on Wikipedia
2010 Archive of Hitchensweb

Greg Graffin

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Greg is a singer and evolutionary biologist. He is most recognized as the lead vocalist and only constant member of punk rock band Bad Religion, which he co-founded in 1980. He embarked on a solo career in 1997, when he released the album American Lesion. His follow-up album, Cold as the Clay, was released nine years later. His newest solo work is Millport, released in 2017. Greg obtained his PhD in zoology at Cornell University and has lectured courses in natural sciences at both the University of California, Los Angeles and at Cornell University.

Greg writes that he is an atheist: “I’ve never believed in God, which technically makes me an atheist”. However, he prefers to identify as a naturalist rather than as an atheist, saying: “Evidence is my guide. I rely on observation, experimentation and verification.”

He describes himself as Straight Edge which often includes a vegan philosophy but I’m not sure of his views on non-human sentient animal ethics.

Greg on Wikipedia

Mark Solms

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Mark is a psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, best known for his discovery of the brain mechanisms of dreaming and his use of psychoanalytic methods in contemporary neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association. Mark has received numerous awards, notably Honorary Membership of the New York Psychoanalytic Society, the American College of Psychoanalysts and the American College of Psychiatrists. He has published more than 250 articles and book chapters, and 6 books. His second book, The Neuropsychology of Dreams, was a landmark contribution to the field. His 2002 book (with Oliver Turnbull), The Brain and the Inner World was a best-seller and has been translated into 13 languages. His latest book, on the hard problem of consciousness, is The Hidden Spring.

Mark has a naturalistic worldview and a sentiocentric moral scope. However, although his son and daughter in law are vegan, Mark hasn’t yet put this aspect of conceptual Sentientist worldview fully into practice.

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Mark on Wikipedia

Fearne Cotton

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Fearne is a television and radio presenter. She has presented television programmes such as Top of the Pops and the Red Nose Day telethons. In 2007, she became the first regular female presenter of the Radio 1 Chart Show, which she co-hosted with Reggie Yates for two years. She went on to present her own Radio 1 show, airing every weekday morning from 2009 to 2015. She joined BBC Radio 2 in 2016. In 2007, Fearne presented The Xtra Factor, an ITV2 spin-off from the main show. She hosted the show for one year before being replaced by Holly Willoughby for the following series. From 2008 to 2018, Fearne appeared as a team captain on the ITV2 comedy panel show Celebrity Juice alongside host Keith Lemon and fellow team captain Holly Willoughby. She quit the series in December 2018 to pursue other projects. In 2018, Fearne began presenting the podcast Happy Place. She has written a number of books, including the “Happy Vegan” cookery book.

Fearne is vegan, implying she has a sentiocentric moral scope. She doesn’t seem to be religious but holds spiritual beliefs that don’t seem to be naturalistically grounded.

Fearne on Wikipedia

Helen Kopnina

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference
Helen (@hkopnina) is Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Business at Northumbria University & The Hague University. Her research focuses on environmental education, biodiversity & corporate sustainability. She is an atheist and has a naturalistic worldview. Helen has an ecocentric ethics and describes herself as a flexitarian, implying she doesn’t yet grant moral consideration to all sentient beings. Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.

Lee McIntyre

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Lee McIntyre is a Philosopher of Science. He is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy & History of Science at Boston University & an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. Lee is the author of How to Talk to a Science Denier as well as many other books, essays & papers. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, the Boston Globe, the New Statesman & the Humanist.

Lee has a naturalistic worldview and is sympathetic to a sentiocentric moral scope – although is working on applying its practical implications.

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.

Andy Norman

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Andy Norman, PhD is the author of “Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think“. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Psychology Today, Skeptic, Free Inquiry & The Humanist. He has appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, public radio, The BBC’s Naked Scientist & The Young Turks. He champions the emerging science of mental immunity as the antidote to disinformation, propaganda, hate, and division. He likes to help people develop immunity to bad ideas. Andy directs the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University & is the founder of CIRCE, the Cognitive Immunology Research Collaborative.

He has a naturalistic worldview and does grant moral consideration based on sentience but is still working on removing sentient animal products from his lifestyle.

Find his Sentientist Conversation with me here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on our Podcast.

Frans de Waal

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Frans’ Sentientist Conversation with me is on the Sentientism YouTube and podcast.

Frans was a primatologist and ethologist. He was the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in the Department of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory and the author of numerous books including “Chimpanzee Politics”, “Our Inner Ape” and “The Bonobo and the Atheist”. He featured in TV/radio productions and TED talks viewed by tens of millions of people. His research centered on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing. He was a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

While Frans did largely grant moral consideration based on sentience he did still consume some non-mammalian sentient animal products. Frans was an atheist and had a naturalistic worldview. He wrote extensively on the evolutionary histories and naturalistic bases for ethics.

Frans on Wikipedia
Frans on FaceBook

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