Species as a relationship

Acta Analytica 23 (4):337-347 (2008)
Abstract
The fact that humans have a special relationship to each other insofar as they belong in the same species is often taken to be a morally relevant difference between humans and other animals, one which justifies a greater moral status for all humans, regardless of their individual capacities. I give some reasons why this kind of relationship is not an appropriate ground for differential treatment of humans and nonhumans. I then argue that even if relationships do matter morally species membership cannot justify a difference in moral status. This has important implications because it removes one barrier to giving animals greater moral status.
Keywords Animals  Moral status  Reciprocity  Relationship  Species
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