Stipulating Moral Status

Abstract

Moral worth is determined by moral agents. How is such a determination made? Western philosophical thought originally demarcated between human and all else. Some contemporary writers seek to extend moral worth to animals, and still others seek to grant ecosystems such worth. This dissertation will consider three predominant writers on the subject of moral worth: Immanuel Kant, Tom Regan and Peter Singer. After consideration of each writer’s strengths and weaknesses, a hybrid view will be presented. The perfect-relationship view extends moral worth to all species. This view utilizes the strengths of Kant, Regan and Singer; as well as, adapting literature of J. Baird Callicott and Emile Durkheim to provide a pragmatic approach to determining moral worth

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