On Moral Considerability: An Essay on Who Morally Matters [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this original study, Mark Bernstein ventures into a neglected area of ethics, the question of moral enfranchisement, to identify the qualities that make an entity deserving of moral consideration. In the first part of the book he undertakes a detailed analysis of three influential accounts of moral considerability, offering novel arguments to counter two popular theories in defense of a currently unfashionable theory of welfare. He develops a qualified mental-state account he dubs "experientialism" (the view ...
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On Moral Considerability: An Essay on Who Morally Matters

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Overview

In this original study, Mark Bernstein ventures into a neglected area of ethics, the question of moral enfranchisement, to identify the qualities that make an entity deserving of moral consideration. In the first part of the book he undertakes a detailed analysis of three influential accounts of moral considerability, offering novel arguments to counter two popular theories in defense of a currently unfashionable theory of welfare. He develops a qualified mental-state account he dubs "experientialism" (the view that having conscious experiences is necessary and sufficient for moral standing), and contends that experientialism is superior to both "the desire theory" and "perfectionism." In the second part of On Moral Considerability, Bernstein explores the political implications of accepting the experientialist view. Contrary to common philosophical thought, he maintains that this position requires us to enlarge our moral sphere to include non-human animals. And, surprisingly, he finds that were one to accept either the desire theory or perfectionism, these animals still ought to be included in the moral realm. Yet he does not seek to expand the moral realm to the extent that deep ecologists champion. This contentious look at "who morally matters," introduces vital new arguments into the fields it touches. Its intimate connection between theory and practice will appeal to philosophers of ethics, applied ethics, and animal ethics. And those readers interested in animal rights will be engaged by its discussion of human obligations toward animals.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The subject of Mark Bernstein's thoughtful book is what makes something morally considerable....[The] arguments are always cogent, and, in my opinion, in many cases compelling....[an] excellent book."—Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195352481
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/19/1998
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 271 KB

Meet the Author

University of Texas, San Antonio
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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. I Theories of Welfare
Ch. 1 Experientialism 9
Ch. 2 The Desire of Theory 37
Ch. 3 Perfectionism 79
Pt. II Animal Matters
Ch. 4 Animal Patienthood 117
Ch. 5 Contractualism and Animals 147
Conclusion 169
Notes 171
References 181
Index 185
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