Philosophy Research Archives 11:531-550 (1985)
Many discussions of the moral status of “mindless beings” such as the permanently comatose, the dead, trees, and human fetuses seem to take for granted the thesis that it is improper to appeal to emotions to establish the fundamental distinction between “persona” (beings capableof rights “in their own right”) and “things” (beings not capable of rights except in some fictional or iIlusory sense). Persons are persons, however we may feel about them.That thesis seems to be a major obstacle to any nonutilitarian account of the personhood of mindless beings.I argue that the thesis of independence is true, if at aIl, only for one class of persons (“rational agents”). Beyond that class, our emotional response to a being can be relevant to its moral status. Acting on some consideration (or believing something in virtue of it) can be rational inthe “constitutive”, “regulative”, or “associative” sense. A consideration is a good reason if it is rational in any of these senses. The importance of this claim is shown by briefly examining Feinberg’s weIl-known argument that it is a conceptual truth that mindless beings are incapable ofrights. His argument assumes that our emotions cannot be rational in the appropriate sense and coIlapses without that assumption
|Keywords||Contemporary Philosophy History of Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
The Nature and Basis of Human Dignity.L. E. E. Patrick & Robert P. George - 2008 - Ratio Juris 21 (2):173-193.
Rational Emotion, Emotional Holism, True Love, and Charlie Chaplin.Michael Levine - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:487-504.
Human Enhancement and Supra-Personal Moral Status.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):473-497.
Fichte and the Relationship Between Self-Positing and Rights.Nedim Nomer - 2010 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):469-490.
Society, Embodiment, and Nature in J. G. Fichte's Practical Philosophy.Yolanda Estes - 2003 - Social Philosophy Today 19:123-134.
Rationalism, Naturalism, and Methodological Principles.I. A. Kieseppä - 2000 - Erkenntnis 53 (3):337-352.
Added to index2011-12-02
Total downloads7 ( #509,166 of 2,146,490 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #386,103 of 2,146,490 )
How can I increase my downloads?
There are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.