Article

The Idea of Moral Standing

Christopher W. Morris

in The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195371963
Published online May 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195371963.013.0010

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Idea of Moral Standing

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This article investigates the idea of moral status for nonhuman animals and how that status compares to the moral status of most humans. It considers whether some artifacts and natural objects have a significant moral status. It finds much of the philosophical literature confusing, so it offers an innovative distinction between the notion of status and that of standing. It regards standing as a special status that humans and perhaps a limited number of other beings have. It takes the idea of “duties to” other beings as critical for an account of moral status. It suggests that something has moral standing if it is owed any moral consideration or duty whatever.

Keywords: moral status; nonhuman animals; humans; moral standing

Article.  11225 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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