Welfare and the Value of Life
The way being open to reconsider in an impartial way the moral status of the members of other species, I offer a critical survey of the main attempts to do so within the field of animal liberation ethics. After distinguishing between obligations concerning welfare and obligations concerning the continuation of life, I examine Peter Singer's utilitarian stance, Tom Regan's deontological view, and David DeGrazia's mixed approach. Though agreeing with these authors as far as equal consideration for the interest in welfare is concerned, I raise doubts about their settling on unequal consideration for the interest in life, and I point to difficulties with formulating an acceptable theory of overall moral status. I end the survey with a discussion of the notion of personhood, which is found unable to overcome such difficulties.
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