The potentiality problem

Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):173 - 198 (2003)
Abstract
Many people face a problem about potentiality: their moral beliefs appear to dictate inconsistent views about the significance of the potentiality to become a healthy adult. Briefly, the problem arises as follows. Consider the following two claims. First, both human babies and cats have moral status, but harms to babies matter more, morally, than similar harms to cats. Second, early human embryos lack moral status. It appears that the first claim can only be true if human babies have more moral status than cats. Among the properties that determine moral status, human babies have no properties other than their potentiality that could explain their having more moral status than cats. So human babies’ potentiality to become adult persons must explain their having more moral status than cats. But then potentiality must raise moral status generally. So early human embryos must have some moral status. It appears that the view that must underlie the first claim implies that the second claim is false.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1024469419944
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,162
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Can We Harm and Benefit in Creating?Elizabeth Harman - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):89–113.
Persons, Dolphins, and Human–Nonhuman Chimeras.David DeGrazia - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (2):17-18.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

143 ( #31,810 of 2,152,250 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #89,723 of 2,152,250 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums