A Multi-Criterial Analysis of Moral Status

Mary Anne Warren

in Moral Status

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250401
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681295 | DOI:

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

A Multi-Criterial Analysis of Moral Status

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This chapter presents an account that ties moral status both to certain intrinsic properties and to certain relational ones. Three key intrinsic properties — life, sentience, and moral agency — are directly relevant to moral status, each in a different way. It suggests three principles that express the general nature of that relevance. At the same time, our nature and circumstances, as individuals who exist within both social communities and terrestrial ecosystems, require us to make our judgements of moral status consistent with the demands of important social and ecological relationships. The chapter suggests four principles that govern the way in which this is commonly and appropriately done.

Keywords: moral status; life; sentience; moral agency; social community

Chapter.  11347 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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