Chapter

The Concept of Moral Status

Mary Anne Warren

in Moral Status

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250401
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250401.003.0001

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

The Concept of Moral Status

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This chapter comments on moral status as an intuitive or common-sense concept, and on two widespread — though not universal — beliefs about which things have moral status and which do not. It elaborates somewhat upon the concept of moral status, and considers why we need such a concept in order to make sense of our moral obligations towards human beings and the rest of the natural world. Next, it reviews some of the major positions on current issues that relate to moral status, outlines the book's chapters, and previews some of its conclusions. The chapter closes with two responses to what is probably the most common objection to the type of account being defended.

Keywords: moral status; common sense; moral obligation; abortion; human rights

Chapter.  8111 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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