Is membership of our species important in itself, or is it just important to have the properties that a normal grown-up human being has? A value subjectivist may argue for a special human value proceeding from the assumption that most of us believe or sense that being human is something important per se and independently of, for instance, those properties that form the basis of personhood. This allows all human beings to have a share in this value. Other attempts to defend a principle of human dignity fail in this respect and are criticized in this book. The book is intended for philosophers with a general interest in moral philosophy or ethics, and more specifically axiological, animal and medical ethics.
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Table of ContentsPart I: Problem and Method. 1. Introduction. 2. Methodological Background. Part II: Direct Importance. 3. A 'Standard Attitude' (SA). 4. The Direct Value of Being Human. 5. SA Examined. 6. Elements in the Phenomenology of SA. 7. Tooley's Arguments Against SA. 8. Examples Supporting SA. 9. Critique of Arguments for SA. Part III: Indirect Importance. 10. Peter Carruthers' Contractualism. 11. Peter Singer on Killing Persons and Non-Persons. Summary and Conclusions. References. Index.