Moral Agents, Patients, and Subjects

Mark Rowlands

in Can Animals Be Moral?

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199842001
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979844 | DOI:
Moral Agents, Patients, and Subjects

Show Summary Details


The novel category of a moral subject—an individual who is a subject of moral motivation but who cannot be held responsible for what she does—is introduced in this chapter, and distinguished from the familiar categories of moral agent and moral patient. Reasons are identified for thinking that the category of moral subject collapses into that of moral agent: that is, that there can be no moral motivation without moral agency. The central argument of the book is identified: the category of moral subject is a legitimate one that does not collapse into that of a moral agent. Animals are moral subjects, but not moral agents.

Keywords: agent; patient; subject; motivation; responsibility; agency

Chapter.  9043 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.