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Rethinking Moral Status

Steve Clarke, Hazem Zohny, and Julian Savulescu


Common-sense morality implicitly assumes that reasonably clear distinctions can be drawn between the ‘full’ moral status usually attributed to ordinary adult humans, the partial moral status attributed to non-human animals, and the absence of moral status, usually ascribed to machines and other artefacts. These assumptions were always subject to challenge; but they now come under renewed pressure because there are beings we are now able to create, and beings we may soon be able to create, which blur traditional distinctions between humans, non-human animals, and non-biological beings. Examples ... More

Keywords: morality, moral status, chimera, cyborg, human brain organoid, post human, non-human animal, artificial intelligence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780192894076
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780192894076.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steve Clarke, editor
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Charles Sturt University

Hazem Zohny, editor
Research Fellow in Bioethics, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

Julian Savulescu, editor
Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

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1 Rethinking our Assumptions about Moral Status

Steve Clarke and Julian Savulescu

Part I The Idea of Moral Status

Part II Specific Issues about Moral Status

10 Toward a Theory of Moral Status Inclusive of Nonhuman Animals

Ruth R. Faden, Tom L. Beauchamp, Debra J. H. Mathews, and Alan Regenberg

14 How the Moral Community Evolves

Rachell Powell, Irina Mikhalevich, and Allen Buchanan

15 Moral Status of Brain Organoids

Julian Koplin, Olivia Carter, and Julian Savulescu

16 How Much Moral Status Could Artificial Intelligence Ever Achieve?

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Vincent Conitzer

17 Monkeys, Moral Machines, and Persons

David R. Lawrence and John Harris

18 Sharing the World with Digital Minds

Carl Shulman and Nick Bostrom

End Matter