David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):567-581 (2009)
Many people believe that all human life is of equal value. Most of them also believe that all human beings have a moral status superior to that of nonhuman animals. But how are these beliefs to be defended? The mere difference of species cannot in itself determine moral status. The most obvious candidate for regarding human beings as having a higher moral status than animals is the superior cognitive capacity of humans. People with profound mental retardation pose a problem for this set of beliefs, because their cognitive capacities are not superior to those of many animals. I argue that we should drop the belief in the equal value of human life, replacing it with a graduated view that applies to animals as well as to humans.
|Keywords||speciesism moral status ethics disability animals|
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Citations of this work BETA
Eric Schwitzgebel & Mara Garza (2015). A Defense of the Rights of Artificial Intelligences. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):98-119.
Benjamin De Mesel (forthcoming). How Morality Can Be Absent From Moral Arguments. Argumentation:1-21.
Rachel Tillman (2013). Ethical Embodiment and Moral Reasoning: A Challenge to Peter Singer. Hypatia 28 (1):18-31.
Benjamin L. Curtis & Simo Vehmas (2016). A Moorean Argument for the Full Moral Status of Those with Profound Intellectual Disability. Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):41-45.
Phillip Pahin & Alyx Macfadyen (2013). A Human-Animal Relational Aesthetic: Towards a Zoophilic Representation of Animals in Art. [REVIEW] Biosemiotics 6 (2):231-243.
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