Volume 1, 2021
Eva Feder Kittay
Why Human Difference is Critical to a Conception of Moral Standing
An Argument for the Sufficiency of Being Human for Full Moral Status
I argue that the claim that merely being born of two human beings in a condition that supports life is sufficient for full moral status. Not only ought we not to exclude any human being from full moral status because they lack the possession of what some have deemed to be morally relevant properties, we don’t have a full grasp of what is morally relevant unless we include the many different possible lives humans live in their diverse bodies and minds. Our understanding of how we ought to treat nonhuman beings is not of lesser importance, but it necessarily depends on how we understand what is morally significant in human lives.