Minds that Matter: Seven Degrees of Moral Standing

Between the Species 13 (4) (2004)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Prominent non-speciesist attempts to determine the amount of moral standing properly attributable to conscious beings argue that certain non-human animals should be granted the highest consideration as self-conscious persons. Most of these theories also include a lesser moral standing for the sentient, or merely conscious, non-person. Thus, the standard approach has been to advocate a two-tiered theory—'sentience' or 'consciousness' and 'self-consciousness' or 'personhood'. While the first level seems to present little interpretative difficulty, the second has recently been criticized as a rather obscurantist label. For it would seem, both on empirical and conceptual grounds, that selfconsciousness/personhood comes in degrees. If these observations are at all revealing, they indicate that the two-tiered model is inadequate. This is the view I will support here, replacing the standard dichotomy with a more accurate seven-tiered account of cognitive moral standing adaptable to all three major perspectives of moral reasoning, namely, utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
FRIMTM
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-12-16
View other versions
Added to PP index
2014-03-09

Total views
157 ( #36,267 of 64,057 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #40,232 of 64,057 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.