Moral Status and Human Life: The Case for Children's Superiority
James G. Dwyer
William & Mary Law School
J. Dwyer, Moral Status and Human Life: The Case for Children's Superiority, Cambridge University Press, October 2010
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-217
This book develops a comprehensive theory of moral status, responding to the disparate partial accounts offered by animal rights proponents, environmental theorists, Kantians, and care ethicists and drawing from a naturalistic account of human moral psychology. It generates a multi-variable, sliding-scale rubric of moral status. It then applies the theory and rubric to do a rough comparison of the moral status of adults and children. It concludes, contrary to the historically prevailing view, that children occupy a higher moral status and so should receive greater consideration than adults in our moral and political deliberations. Finally, the book suggests some applications to current legal and policy debates.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: children's rights, moral status, human life, abortion, autonomy, sentienceAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 8, 2012
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