The genetic account of moral status: A defense

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Abstract

Christopher Grau argues that the genetic basis for moral agency account of rightholding is problematic because it fails to grant all human beings the moral status of rightholding; it grants the status of rightholding to entities that do not intuitively deserve such status; and it assumes that the genetic basis for moral agency has intrinsic/final value, but the genetic basis for moral agency only has instrumental value. Grau also argues that those who are inclined to hold that all human beings are rightholders should reconsider speciesism. In this paper, I argue that Grau's objections do not undermine the genetic basis for moral agency account of rightholding, and I also offer criticisms of Grau's defense of speciesism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Moral Philosophy
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • instrumental value
  • intrinsic value
  • moral agency
  • moral standing
  • moral status
  • personhood
  • rightholding
  • speciesism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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