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THE STATUS OF MORAL STATUS

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Abstract

This paper investigates whether moral status talk gets us anywhere in our search for answers to questions in the ethics of marginal cases. I consider the usefulness of moral status talk first on the assumption that an individual's possession of moral status is not a further fact about that individual, and then on the assumption that it is. Finally, I offer an expressivistic interpretation of moral status talk. In each case, I argue that such talk conveys nothing that cannot be conveyed more clearly in other words. My conclusion is that we should stop using moral status and its cognates.

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