Rescuing Basic Equality

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):837-857 (2019)
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Abstract

In the debate on the basis of moral equality, one conclusion achieves near consensus: that we must reject all accounts that ground equality in the possession of some psychological capacity (Psychological Capacity Accounts). This widely held view crystallises around three objections. The first is the Arbitrariness Objection, which holds that the threshold at which the possession of the relevant capacities places an individual within the required range is arbitrary. The second is the Variations Objection, which holds that there is rational pressure to acknowledge that variations in psychological capacities between individuals are morally relevant. The third is the No Rational Agency Objection, according to which Psychological Capacity Accounts have unpalatable implications for our treatment of humans who do not possess the relevant capacities. We develop a Psychological Capacity Account based on the capacity for a conception of the good and offer a novel defence of the account against these objections.

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Author's Profile

Tom Parr
University of Essex

Citations of this work

Basic Equality.Paul Sagar - 2024 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
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Are Adults and Children One Another’s Moral Equals?Giacomo Floris - 2023 - The Journal of Ethics 27 (1):31-50.
Wrongful Discrimination Without Equal, Basic Moral Status.Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 26 (1):19-36.

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The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.

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