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Can Animals Be Moral?$
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Mark Rowlands

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199842001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199842001.001.0001

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Moral Agents, Patients, and Subjects

Moral Agents, Patients, and Subjects

(p.71) 3 Moral Agents, Patients, and Subjects
Can Animals Be Moral?

Mark Rowlands

Oxford University Press

The novel category of a moral subject—an individual who is a subject of moral motivation but who cannot be held responsible for what she does—is introduced in this chapter, and distinguished from the familiar categories of moral agent and moral patient. Reasons are identified for thinking that the category of moral subject collapses into that of moral agent: that is, that there can be no moral motivation without moral agency. The central argument of the book is identified: the category of moral subject is a legitimate one that does not collapse into that of a moral agent. Animals are moral subjects, but not moral agents.

Keywords:   agent, patient, subject, motivation, responsibility, agency

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