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The Death of the Ethic of Life - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Death of the Ethic of Life

John Basl


According to the ethic of life, all living organisms are of special moral importance. Living things, unlike simple artifacts or biological collectives, are not mere things whose value is entirely instrumental. This book articulates why the ethic is immune to most of the standard criticisms raised against it, but also why such an ethic is untenable, why the domain of moral concern does not extend to all living things; it argues for an old conclusion in an entirely new way. To see why the ethic must be abandoned requires that we look carefully at the foundations of the ethic—the ways in which it ... More

Keywords: moral status, moral considerability, level of selection, biocentrism, teleology, well-being

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190923877
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190923877.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Basl, author
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Northeastern University

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