Moral status. Obligations to persons and other living things, by Mary Anne Warren (oxford university press, 1997)

Warren’s goal is to present a ‘multi-criterial’ account of moral status—she eschews any view that holds ‘X has moral status iff X has N’ (where ‘N’ might be life, or personhood, or sentience, for example). Moral status, she asserts, is a more complex affair: it comes in degrees and there are a variety of sufficient conditions. The first part of the book (roughly three quarters of it) is devoted to outlining some standard ‘uni-lateral’ accounts, criticising them in so far as they purport to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for status, but selecting the plausible parts of each to come together later in the multi-criterial account.
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