Moral Status: Obligations to Persons and Other Living Things

Paperback | November 15, 1999

byMary Anne Warren

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Mary Anne Warren explores a theoretical question which lies at the heart of practical ethics: what are the criteria for having moral status? In other words, what are the criteria for being an entity towards which people have moral obligations? Some philosophers maintain that there is oneintrinsic property--for instance, life, sentience, humanity, or moral agency. Others believe that relational properties, such as belonging to a human community, are more important. In Part I of the book, Warren argues that no single property can serve as the sole criterion for moral status; instead,life, sentience, moral agency, and social and biotic relationships are all relevant, each in a different way. She presents seven basic principles, each focusing on a property that can, in combination with others, legitimately affect an agent's moral obligations towards entities of a given type. InPart II, these principles are applied in an examination of three controversial ethical issues: voluntary euthanasia, abortion

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From the Publisher

Mary Anne Warren explores a theoretical question which lies at the heart of practical ethics: what are the criteria for having moral status? In other words, what are the criteria for being an entity towards which people have moral obligations? Some philosophers maintain that there is oneintrinsic property--for instance, life, sentience...

Mary Anne Warren is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:274 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:November 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198250401

ISBN - 13:9780198250401

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Table of Contents

Part I: An Account of Moral Status. 1. The Concept of Moral Status; 2. Reverence for Life; 3. Sentience and the Utilitarian Calculus; 4. Personhood and Moral Rights; 5. The Relevance of Relationships; 6. A Multi-Criterial Analysis of Moral Status. Part II: Selected Applications. 7. Applyingthe Principles; 8. Euthanasia and the Moral Status of Human Beings; 9. Abortion and Human Rights; 10. Animal Rights and Human Limitations; 11. Conclusion. Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Her theory should prompt discussion and help clarify the concept of moral status. Her multicriterial approach for determining moral status has the potential to assist in the struggle to handle the complex moral issues prevalent today."--Choice"Her theory should prompt discussion and help clarify the concept of moral status. Her multicriterial approach for determining moral status has the potential to assist in the struggle to handle the complex moral issues prevalent today."--Choice