Argument on the criteria of personhood & its moral implications: Mary Anne Warren

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Journalism & Communication
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Mary Anne Warren was an American philosopher who was famous for her cognitive criterion of personhood, presented to recognize the difference between a person and a human being.According to her, the list was not exclusive but at least some of the characteristics must be possessed by the person to be called as a human being. …

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Argument on the criteria of personhood & its moral implications: Mary Anne Warren

Dr. Mollenkott is an American feminist who is notably recognized due to her work in feminist, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender theologies. Mollenkott presents her point of view which is very similar to the Warren’s Cognitive criteria. However Tooley, like Warren, elaborates more extensive criteria of human personhood. Tooley claims that an organism possesses a serious right to life only if it possesses the concept of a self as a continuing subject of experiences and other mental states, and believes that it is itself such a continuing entity. He further explains that being a person does not imply to have a right of continued existence unless that person possesses the concept of a subject of experiences, temporal order, and the identity of things.

He arguments that killing of non-humans i.e., animals is permissible for consumption and leather usage however torturing them for a time is not only an unethical act but also punishable by law so a fetus or a deformed infant is similar to these non-humans as they have no awareness of their self. Both Mollenkott’s and Tooley’s gave the philosophical arguments that only Homo sapiens that possess certain connection with their environment have a full right to life. This argument possesses some logical weakness. Jane English has reasoned out that non‐persons do not have responsibilities or rights as persons despite of their place in the law of ethics so comparing them with persons is unrealistic and unorthodox.
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