What is the moral status of

Any attempt to ground moral status in potentiality introduces its own challenges. Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition. The case that Warren makes for a "sliding scale" of moral status appeals to the basic moral intuitions of many people. She does not state what the criteria are for being a human being, but she may be partially following Quinn and conceiving of a human being as one who belongs to the human species and has the capacity to learn see her pagewhere the latter feature would exclude the anencephalics.

This third marker of proximate personhood, "bonding of," is a social criterion, whereas "potentiality for" is intellectual and "development toward" is physical. The capacity of foresight, for example, can make for weightier interests, and so human beings with this or other forms of cognitive sophistication are harmed more by death Rachelspp.

In this way, democratic societies foster humane progress in ethical sensitivity.

The Grounds of Moral Status

Rights at Issue New York: New York University Press. To wantonly toss one of them into that same water would constitute an immoral, reprehensible act. Additionally, the threshold conception allows for the possibility of discontinuities in degrees of moral status that might seem arbitrary. Notice that an even more rudimentary feature, which is not cognitive, would have to be considered if one were to accord any moral status to all living beings.

The Moral Implications of Darwinism, Oxford: A third marker is emotional bonding of the parents to the fetus or newborn. On some views, the capacity to experience pleasure or pain sentience is a prerequisite of having interests and this explains why sentience is a ground of moral status Singerp.

Suppose, for example, that the capacity to value which we will use as shorthand for the capacity to make an evaluative judgment were a sufficient ground for having a high degree of moral status.

Several modern bioethicists have argued extensively for the significance of cerebral functioning. The personhood standard sounds simple, but it can have such diverse and conflicting meanings that some philosophers, particularly Ruth Macklin, question the value of its use.

Morals by Agreement New York: Jaworska and Tannenbaum offer an alternative approach, anchored in the idea that cognitively sophisticated capacities can be realized incompletely. With respect to a future-like-ours, some argue that the loss of this potentiality is morally problematic only if the being is sufficiently psychologically connected to that future person, and a fetus arguably lacks this sufficient connection McInerney Moreover, the moral status of permanently severely cognitively impaired humans who never had sophisticated cognitive capacities remains unaccounted for see the entry on cognitive disability and moral status.

The threshold conception leaves it open whether having some other feature e. Essays in Biomedical Ethics. We are a parallel and independent entity; a thing unto ourselves; in a class of our own; sui generis.

The threshold conception is not tied to any particular account of the grounds for moral status.THE BASIS OF HUMAN MORAL STATUS Abstract When philosophers consider what moral status human beings have, they tend to find themselves either supporting the idea that not all human beings are rightholders or adopting what Peter Singer calls a ‘speciesist’ position, where speciesism is defined.


This is a philosophical exploration of the concept of moral status. To have moral status is to be morally considerable, or to have moral standing. 'This is an engagingly written book that tackles a topic of vital interest not only for moral philosophers but also those having general academic, law and policy-making concerns with the status of children and the role of the family.

But moral status is a totally different type of thing. It has to do with the nature of a being not its capabilities. How we treat something morally has to do with what kind or category of being that the individual is and that is not dependent on its capabilities.

Moral Status and Human Life

That is why we treat children and the disabled as full human beings even though. Some of the most pressing moral issues of our time turn in part upon the answers to these questions about moral status. I begin with a definition of moral status.

Next, I discuss six theories, each of which purports to identify a single necessary and sufficient condition for the possession of full moral status. In this lesson, we will define and describe the concept of moral status,and identify the suggested criteria for moral status, including Kantian and Cartesian theories.

What is the moral status of
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