Environmental Ethics

Volume 5, Issue 3, Fall 1983

Louis G. Lombardi
Pages 257-270

Inherent Worth, Respect, and Rights

Paul W. Taylor has defended a life-centered ethics that considers the inherent worth of all living things to be the same. l examine reasons for ascribing inherent worth to all living beings, but argue that there can be various levels of inherent worth. Differences in capacities among types of life are used to justify such levels. I argue that once levels of inherent worth are distinguished, it becomes reasonable to restrict rights to human beings.