Chapter 19. Speciesism and Moral Status

  1. Eva Feder Kittay Distinguished Professor senior fellow2 and
  2. Licia Carlson Ph.D. assistant professor3
  1. Peter Singer Professor

Published Online: 18 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444322781.ch19

Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy

Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy

How to Cite

Singer, P. (2010) Speciesism and Moral Status, in Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy (eds E. F. Kittay and L. Carlson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444322781.ch19

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Stony Brook University/SUNY, USA

  2. 3

    Providence College, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 14 MAY 2010

Book Series:

  1. Metaphilosophy Series in Philosophy

Book Series Editors:

  1. Armen T. Marsoobian,
  2. Brian J. Huschle and
  3. Eric Cavallero

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405198288

Online ISBN: 9781444322781



  • personhood - speciesism and moral status;
  • American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities;
  • equal value of all human life;
  • cognitive abilities - in humans and animals;
  • capacities and cognitive abilities of nonhuman beings - with regard to IQ and language comprehension;
  • human beings with cognitive disabilities;
  • people with cognitive disabilities - not being easy to categorize;
  • “Slippery Slope” arguments;
  • Pope John Paul II's statement - equal worth of all human life and human superiority over nonhuman animals;
  • superior cognitive abilities


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Cognitive Abilities in Humans and Animals

  • The Equal Value of All Human Life?

  • An Alternative View

  • The Views of Parents

  • Who Has Dignity?

  • “Slippery Slope” Arguments

  • Conclusion