David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):387-402 (2012)
The dominant conceptions of moral status in the English-speaking literature are either holist or individualist, neither of which accounts well for widespread judgments that: animals and humans both have moral status that is of the same kind but different in degree; even a severely mentally incapacitated human being has a greater moral status than an animal with identical internal properties; and a newborn infant has a greater moral status than a mid-to-late stage foetus. Holists accord no moral status to any of these beings, assigning it only to groups to which they belong, while individualists such as welfarists grant an equal moral status to humans and many animals, and Kantians accord no moral status either to animals or severely mentally incapacitated humans. I argue that an underexplored, modal-relational perspective does a better job of accounting for degrees of moral status. According to modal- relationalism, something has moral status insofar as it capable of having a certain causal or intensional connection with another being. I articulate a novel instance of modal-relationalism grounded in salient sub-Saharan moral views, roughly according to which the greater a being's capacity to be part of a communal relationship with us, the greater its moral status. I then demonstrate that this new, African-based theory entails and plausibly explains the above judgments, among others, in a unified way.
|Keywords||African ethics Communitarianism Holism Individualism Moral considerability Moral status Rationality Relationality Sub-Saharan morality Welfarism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Nel Noddings (1984). Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. University of California Press.
Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Tom Regan (2009). The Case for Animal Rights. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press 425-434.
Thaddeus Metz (2007). Toward an African Moral Theory. Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (3):321–341.
Citations of this work BETA
Thaddeus Metz (2014). Harmonizing Global Ethics in the Future: A Proposal to Add South and East to West. Journal of Global Ethics 10 (2):146-155.
Similar books and articles
David DeGrazia (2008). Moral Status as a Matter of Degree? Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):181-198.
Julia Tanner (2008). Species as a Relationship. Acta Analytica 23 (4):337-347.
Paul Shapiro (2006). Moral Agency in Other Animals. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (4):357-373.
Julie Tannenbaum & Agnieszka Jaworska (2013). The Grounds of Moral Status. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:0-0.
Benjamin Sachs (2011). The Status of Moral Status. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):87-104.
Logi Gunnarsson (2008). The Great Apes and the Severely Disabled: Moral Status and Thick Evaluative Concepts. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):305 - 326.
Robert P. Lovering (2004). Mary Anne Warren on “Full” Moral Status. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):509-30.
Thomas Douglas (2013). Human Enhancement and Supra-Personal Moral Status. Philosophical Studies 162 (3):473-497.
Lisa Bortolotti (2007). Disputes Over Moral Status: Philosophy and Science in the Future of Bioethics. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 15 (2):153-8.
Christopher Grau (2010). Moral Status, Speciesism, and Liao’s Genetic Account. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3):387-96.
Corinne Painter (2006). Aristotle and the Moral Status of Animals. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 13 (2):45-57.
John Hacker-Wright (2007). Moral Status in Virtue Ethics. Philosophy 82 (3):449-473.
Mary Anne Warren (1997). Moral Status: Obligations to Persons and Other Living Things. Clarendon Press.
Elizabeth Harman (2003). The Potentiality Problem. Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):173 - 198.
Andrew Brennan (1984). The Moral Standing of Natural Objects. Environmental Ethics 6 (1):35-56.
Added to index2011-06-30
Total downloads115 ( #38,204 of 1,932,585 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #333,232 of 1,932,585 )
How can I increase my downloads?