Moral Status, Speciesism, and Liao’s Genetic Account

Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3):387-96 (2010)
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This paper offers several criticisms of the account of rightholding laid out in S. Matthew Liao’s recent paper “The Basis of Human Moral Status.” I argue that Liao’s account both does too much and too little: it grants rightholder status to those who may not deserve it, and it does not provide grounds for offering such status to those who arguably do deserve it. Given these troubling aspects of his approach, I encourage Liao to abandon his “physical basis of moral agency” account of moral status and instead adopt a position closer to a traditional “speciesist” view.
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