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Worth

  • Christopher Miles Coope
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Abstract

In Part Two we shall investigate with some thoroughness whether it really makes sense, after all, to talk about the intrinsic value of human beings, of paintings, of animal species, etc., where this is given as a reason why they should not be destroyed. Of course, we shall be specially interested in the idea that human beings have this value.

Keywords

Human Life Personal Investment Practical Ethic Intrinsic Goodness York Review 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Symposium on Jeff McMahan’s The Ethics of Killing, in Philosophical Books, 2005, p. 2. I should remark here that Professor McMahan in The Ethics of Killing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) argues that his notion of ‘worth’ is not the same as Dworkin’s ‘sanctity’ (p. 331). But they seem to be allied notions. In explaining how an individual’s worth explains the way it is wrong to kill, McMahan points out how such a killing is, among other things, ‘to annihilate that which is irreplaceable’ and ‘to show contempt for that which demands reverence’ (p. 242) — which is exactly the language which Dworkin would use about ‘intrinsically valuable’ items like paintings.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Letter in response to Richard Stith, to New York Review of Books, 28 March 1991, italics in text.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    People sometimes feel free to attribute very fanciful ideas to those who are opposed to the killing of the innocent, perhaps carelessly, perhaps in order to discredit them. Philosopher Alison Hills remarks: ‘Some people think that human life is sacred and should be preserved in all circumstances’ (Do Animals Have Rights? Thriplow: Ikon Books, 2005, p. 142, italics added). The and from the context is evidently and hence. I wonder whether anyone who claims to believe in the sanctity of life would wish to assert such an extravagance? Physiologist Clifford Grobstein talks about ‘right-to-life insistence that foetal life be continued, whenever and however possible, as an absolute value in any circumstance’ (Science and the Unborn, New York: Basic Books, 1988, p. 116). He does not refer us to anyone who has maintained this quite extraordinary opinion. Our remarks on avoiding miscarriage in Chapter 1.3 are relevant to all this.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    A. T. Nuyen, ‘Moral Contracts and the Morality of Abortion’, in Kai Nielsen and Steven C. Patten, eds, New Essays in Ethics and Public Policy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume VIII, 1982, p. 153.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Richard Flathman, ‘The Theory of Rights and the Practice of Abortion’, in his Toward a Liberalism, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989, p. 184, fn.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Mary Anne Warren, Moral Status, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997, p. 149.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    We came across this sort of claim in chapter 1.5, in regard to Galen Strawson, etc. The present version is the work of Ronnie Zoe Hawking, ‘Reproductive Choices: The Ecological Dimensions’ selected to be reprinted in James E. White, ed., Contemporary Moral Problems, 6th edn, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2000, p. 198. This is the concluding sentence of the article. Earlier we are told that ‘planetary life itself, construed in the larger sense as encompassing all the diverse extant as well as the potential future forms arising through the evolutionary process, is faced with a crisis of unprecedented proportions’ (p. 188). But it is not all bad news. The ‘termination of almost a million and a half pregnancies every year in the United States for instance, has served to lessen significantly the toll on the global ecosystems’ (p. 191). This article had earlier been published by the American Philosophical Association.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Carl Sagan and Anne Druyan, ‘Abortion: Is it Possible to be both Pro-choice and Pro-life?’, in Carl Sagan, Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, New York: Random House, 1997, p. 166. Carl Sagan was a recipient of 23 honorary doctorates.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    ‘The Guardian Profile’, Guardian, 26 August 2000. Carl Djerassi, in addition to teaching ethics, is an organic chemist, a novelist, playwright, art collector, the recipient of 17 honorary doctorates, etc. Of course, we shouldn’t lazily go along with the belief that people who are pro-life will be more likely than others to support the death penalty. For what it is worth, a Gallup survey of 1990 designed to probe attitudes to abortion found that 75 per cent of those who identified themselves as strongly pro-choice said they favoured the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, compared with 68 per cent of the strongly pro-life. This survey is discussed in James Davison Hunter, Before the Shooting Begins, New York: The Free Press, 1994, pp. 106 and 269.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 53.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Sarah Weddington, A Question of Choice, New York: Penguin Books, 1993, p. 283. I say that this is perhaps meant to be a distraction as it occurs in a final chapter on tactics — what one can do in order to be a ‘champion for choice’ (p. 268).Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Peter Geach, The Virtues, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, p. 32.Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    It is instructive to see that John Harris in The Value of Life (London: Routledge, 1985) introduces the topic of value by talking about the duty to rescue. Indeed he does so three times. See the first page of the Introduction (p. 1), the opening page of Chapter 1 (p. 7) and then the page long section entitled ‘What do we mean by value?’ (pp. 8–9). Dodgy questions about killing are naturally left for later. When the time comes Professor Harris does not say (as far as I can see) that it is wrong to kill people because they are valuable. Rather, to kill someone deprives him of an opportunity, an opportunity to value his own life (p. 17). Or again (a second view) killing deprives the individual of something he in fact values (p. 83). 24 Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse, in their article ‘Should all seriously disabled newborns live?’, lump together value and inviolability, as would seem to suit their case. ‘Few people, if any, ultimately take the view that all human life is equally valuable and inviolable to its logical conclusion’ they write.Google Scholar
  14. (Peter Singer, Unsanc-tifying Human Life, Helga Kuhse ed., Oxford: Blackwell, 2002, p. 236) And what would this ‘taking to its logical conclusion’ amount to? ‘The view that all human lives … are equally valuable or inviolable would, if applied consistently, have the grotesque consequence that life would have to be prolonged even in a situation where the patient would not benefit from such efforts or would be harmed by them’ (p. 237). If in both quotations we leave out the reference to equal value, where would the difficulty be? The view that everyone is equally inviolable (it is surely individuals rather than their lives which are the subjects of violation) would not have this ‘grotesque’ consequence. For why should we think that a patient is violated at all if we decide to give up trying to rescue him with stressful treatment and let him die in peace?Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    The Mother and Her Offspring, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1858, p. 109, quoted in Marvin Olasky, Abortion Rites, a Social History of Abortion in America, Washington: Regnery, 1995, p. 114. Opposition to abortion was very usual among American doctors in the nineteenth century.Google Scholar
  16. 31.
    Jenny Teichman however is perhaps correct to see a logical difference between inviolability and sanctity. ‘Inviolability has no degrees, whereas I think the sacred does; after all, we have the holy, and the holier than thou, and the holy of holies, and so on’. (‘What is Sacred? Ronald Dworkin’s Answers’, Polemical Papers, Aldershot: Aldgate, 1997, p. 112.) Suzanne Uniacke argues that a teaching as to inviolability is an appropriate response to the sacredness of something (‘Is Life Sacred?’, in Ben Rogers, ed., Is Nothing Sacred?, Abingdon: Routledge, 2004, p. 75) and Ronald Dworkin seems to admit in his reply (p. 141) that we have distinct concepts here.Google Scholar
  17. 34.
    I have discussed this possibility in ‘Modern Virtue Ethics’, in T. D. J. Chappell, ed., Virtues and Values, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006.Google Scholar
  18. 35.
    G. E. M. Anscombe, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, in Collected Philosophical Papers, Vol. 3, Oxford: Blackwell, 1981, p. 36. (This article was first published in Philosophy, 1958. The OED, under ‘consequentialism’, seems unaware both of this source and this sense.)Google Scholar
  19. 36.
    Michael Zimmerman (The Nature of Intrinsic Value, Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001), takes up a passage in Philippa Foot: ‘It seems preposterous to deny that there are some things that a moral person must want and aim at insofar as he is a moral person and that he will count it “a good thing” when these things happen …’, and he comments: ‘But this is all that is at issue when something is intrinsically good’ (p. 26).Google Scholar
  20. (See Philippa Foot, ‘Morality, Action and Outcome’, in Ted Honderich, ed., Objectivity and Value, London: Routledge, 1985, now reprinted in Foot’s Moral Dilemmas, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002.) Naturally, we have no quarrel with such non-explanatory or derivative talk of intrinsic goodness, except that it might mislead philosophers.Google Scholar
  21. 37.
    Judith Jarvis Thomson, The Realm of Rights, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990, p. 132, fn 6.Google Scholar
  22. Jeff McMahan, The Ethics of Killing, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 334, italics added.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 38.
    Christine Korsgaard, ‘Two Distinctions of Goodness’, Philosophical Review, 1983, p. 170.Google Scholar
  24. 40.
    John Locke also makes use of the phrase ‘intrinsic value’ in his writings on money. See Patrick Hyde Kelly, ed., Locke on Money, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991, e.g., p. 234. The editor comments in his introductory materials: ‘the concept of intrinsic value derives from scholastic philosophy and denotes the inherent capacity of an object to perform certain functions, e.g. the “intrinsic value” of bread is to assuage hunger’ (pp. 82–3). This is not too clear in sense for ‘inherent’ like ‘intrinsic’ stands in need of an explanation.Google Scholar
  25. 41.
    The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  26. 53.
    Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1st edn, 1979, p. 73, 2nd edn, 1993, p. 84, reference to this last edition.Google Scholar
  27. 54.
    Peter Singer, ‘Life’s Uncertain Voyage’, in Philip Pettit et al., Metaphysics and Morality, Oxford: Blackwell, 1987, p. 154, italics added.Google Scholar
  28. 56.
    See Frances Kamm’s article ‘Ronald Dworkin on Abortion and Assisted Suicide’, Journal of Ethics, 2001, drawing on her Columbia Law Review article, which raises six difficulties about what Dworkin says about ‘intrinsic value’. Ronald Dworkin provides six succinct replies in the same issue. Revised criticisms follow in Frances Kamm’s ‘Ronald Dworkin’s Views on Abortion and Assisted Suicide’, in Justine Burley, ed., Dworkin and His Critics, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004, followed by further succinct replies. (Frances Kamm does not, however, disagree with his curious idea that a foetus somehow has value which is a value to no one, not even to itself.)Google Scholar
  29. 57.
    Ronald Dworkin, ‘Tyranny at the Two Edges of Life’, New Perspectives Quarterly, 1994, p. 18, italics added.Google Scholar
  30. 58.
    True enough, economists seem to be able to work out the value of pretty well anything. You and I are worth, apparently, about $750,000 each, at 1985 prices. (Perhaps more if valued as a pair?) I take this figure from Dan Usher’s The Value of Life for Decision Making’, in Ellen Frankel Paul et al., eds, Ethics and Economics, 1985, p. 191. In a broadcast in 1995, the then Minister of Health, Virginia Bottomley, said that the government initiative to vaccinate babies against measles had saved about 50 lives, at a cost of £400,000 apiece — apparently money well spent.Google Scholar
  31. 59.
    There is indeed a historical oddity about this last remark. G. E. Moore became a philosopher, he explained, because he was filled with just this astonishment. He was puzzled about what these odd philosophical pronouncements could mean. (‘An Autobiography’, in Paul Arthur Schilpp, ed., The Philosophy of G. E. Moore, 2nd edn, New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1952, p. 14). But it is to Moore above all that we should look to find this curious emphasis on an ‘intrinsic value’ unrelated to our needs and wants. In criticising this part of Moore’s legacy we are following in his footsteps. (For Moore’s own later doubts about the would-be concept he did so much to promote, see note 135, this Part.)Google Scholar
  32. 60.
    ‘What people are for is … to home in on God … It’s this potentiality, this incredible possibility, of the knowledge of God and of sharing in his nature which Christianity holds out to people and because of this potentiality every life, right up to the last, is infinitely precious. Its potentialities in all things the world cares about may be slight; but there is always the possibility of what it’s for’ (Elizabeth Anscombe, ‘Contraception and Chastity’ in Michael D. Bayles, ed., Ethics and Population, Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman, 1976.) This value would be value to the individual concerned, and to others who love him.Google Scholar
  33. 61.
    Christopher Gowans, ‘Moral Theory, Moral Dilemmas, and Moral Responsibilities’, in H. E. Mason, ed., Moral Dilemmas and Moral Theory, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 208–9. Professor Gowans, for example, simply refers to this as familiar in philosophy, gives a simple definition, and passes on to what he is really concerned to defend: that we are also ‘irreplaceably valuable’. To believe these two doctrines of value, he suggests, is somehow essential: That we regard persons as being intrinsically and irreplaceably valuable is one of the most significant features of our understanding of ourselves’ (p. 210). However, we can say that human beings are ‘irreplaceable’ without talking the language of value. We can simply say e.g. that a woman is not entitled to kill a baby on the mere ground that she proposes to have another a baby (or two) just to make up. Talk of value hardly explains this conviction!Google Scholar
  34. 63.
    We need to ask of course in the particular case what a claim as to ‘objectivity’ amounts to. Despite Dworkin’s talk of objectivity, Gilbert Harman mentions the account of intrinsic value in Life’s Dominion as providing one more item of support for his general thesis that moral claims are not objective. See Gilbert Harman and Judith Jarvis Thomson, Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity, Oxford: Blackwell, 1996, p. 11.Google Scholar
  35. 64.
    For useful cautions about appeals to experience, see Anthony Kenny, Faith and Reason, New York: Columbia University Press, 1983, pp. 55–8. ‘I think that the phrase “religious experience” is an unfortunate one; not because of anything to do with religion, but because of the confusing nature of the relevant concept of “experience”’ (p. 55).Google Scholar
  36. 65.
    Thomas Nagel, The Last Word, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 122. As it happens, this book is dedicated to Professor Dworkin. Another prominent philosopher who wishes to talk of intrinsic value in the way under dispute is Robert Nozick. See below, Chapter 2.8.Google Scholar
  37. 69.
    Thomas Nagel, The View From Nowhere, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 153. To be sure, anyone will admit that items can be valuable in a perfectly unproblematic way even though no one can derive satisfaction from them and no one wants them. In the first place, all sorts of useful things are not wanted because no one knows that they are useful. And of many things known to be useful it is rather unnatural to say that people ‘derive satisfaction’ from them. Think of traffic lights, air-bags, white lines along the road, etc.Google Scholar
  38. 71.
    Several people seem to have come to a similar conclusion. I list those known to me. First Roger Wertheimer. We talk, he says, of the value of a human being as if it explained and justified the usual teachings that we should not harm others ‘whereas actually the attribution of value is a consequence of the rationality and categorical character of moral choices, not a precondition of them. The propriety of sacrificing one person to save the life of many in some cases and the impropriety of doing so in other cases cannot be explained in a coherent calculus of value’ (‘Applying Ethical Theory: Caveats from a Case Study’, in David M. Rosenthal and Fadlou Shehadi, eds, Applied Ethics and Ethical Theory, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1988, p. 254). Second, Anne Maclean: ‘Talk about the value of life in this context can be nothing other than talk about how we may treat the possessor of that life; it is not talk which explains how we may treat the possessor of that life’ (The Elimination of Morality, London: Routledge, 1993, p. 34, italics in text). This thought is not confined to those who, like Roger Wertheimer, oppose abortion. Leslie Cannold perhaps has the same idea when she writes: ‘The key to understanding women’s assumptions regarding the value of foetal life is to remember that they follow from women’s beliefs about the morality of abortion, they are not the reasons behind them’ (The Abortion Myth, p. 116). There is something right about this remark, though of course we need to talk about beliefs generally, not just ‘women’s beliefs’. Think too of John Harris who explains what it is for lives to have something called ‘moral value’ thus: ‘Talk about the lives of individuals having moral value refers to the moral reasons we have for respecting claims to continued existence made by or on behalf of such creatures’ (‘The Concept of the Person and the Value of Life’, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, December 1999, p. 294). Here again claims about value would not be offered to explain why we have ‘moral reasons’ not to kill. We will be inclined to talk about value just because we think we have these reasons.Google Scholar
  39. 72.
    Lord Walton of Detchant (Chairman), Report of the Select Committee on Medical Ethics, London: HMSO, 1994, p. 13. ‘[Section] 34. Belief in the special worth of human life is at the heart of civilised society. It is the fundamental value on which all others are based, and is the foundation of both law and medical practice. The intentional taking of human life is therefore the offence which society condemns most strongly. [Section] 35. ‘Witnesses spoke in different ways about the value which human life holds … Nobody suggested that human life did not have its own intrinsic value’. Ronald Dworkin gave oral evidence to this committee.Google Scholar
  40. 73.
    David Lewis, On the Plurality of Worlds, Oxford: Blackwell, 1986, p. 203.Google Scholar
  41. 74.
    See Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, Oxford: Blackwell, 2nd edn, 1958, para. 216.Google Scholar
  42. 75.
    P. T. Geach and Max Black, eds, Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, Oxford: Blackwell, 1952. See ‘On Concept and Object’: ‘By a kind of necessity of language, my expressions sometimes miss my thought … I fully realize that in such cases I was relying on a reader who would be ready to meet me half way — who does not begrudge a pinch of salt’ (p. 54). See also a similar remark in ‘What is a Function?’ (p. 115).Google Scholar
  43. 81.
    John T. Noonan, A Private Choice, Abortion in America in the Seventies, New York: The Free Press, 1979, pp. 200–1.Google Scholar
  44. 83.
    The Economist, 14 August, 1999 p. 42. See now Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, New York: William Morrow, 2005.Google Scholar
  45. 84.
    Michael Burleigh, Death and Deliverance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 160–1.Google Scholar
  46. 85.
    Noah Lemos, Intrinsic Value, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 96. Children often ask baffling questions of this sort — ‘Which is better, a kangaroo or a kettle?’, etc.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 86.
    This remark might seem somewhat cryptic. For a classic discussion of the way mental attitudes are internally related to their objects see Philippa Foot, ‘Moral Beliefs’, reprinted in her Virtues and Vices, Oxford: Blackwell, 1978, pp. 112–16.Google Scholar
  48. 87.
    Robert Nozick, Philosophical Explanations, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981, p. 409. This, interestingly enough, seems to bail out all those ethicists who down the years have been troubled by the question ‘Why be moral?’ We, the virtuous, can now tell the other lot: ‘Come, come. You can’t possibly want to become less valu-able!’ Philosophy does make progress after all.Google Scholar
  49. 90.
    Jonathan Glover, Causing Death and Saving Lives, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977, p. 16.Google Scholar
  50. 96.
    Ruth Anna Putnam, ‘Being Ambivalent about Abortion’, Tikkun, 1989, p. 81, italics added.Google Scholar
  51. 98.
    Rosalind Coward, writing in Observer, 4 July 1993.Google Scholar
  52. 100.
    A report in England, for example, claimed that there were ten couples seeking to adopt for each available baby. BBC News at One, 14 July, 1993. Dorothy Wertz says (writing about the US): There are waiting lists of parents who would adopt children with Down Syndrome and other more serious conditions.’ ‘The Need for Fictive Lines,’ Society, July/August, 2001, p. 28. 101 The painfulness of having a baby adopted might be related to some extent to current adopting practices, which we should not regard as unalterable. We might also note the following. Having a baby adopted is not of course succumbing to a disability. But a research finding about disability might yet be relevant. There is some reason to suppose that patients are apt to be unduly pessimistic in their estimate of how they will cope with disabilities, illnesses, etc. See Julian Savulescu’s ‘Rational Desires and the Limitation of Life-Sustaining Treatment’, Bioethics, 1994, Part II, pp. 202–8. Note too the results of a study of 43 cases of surrogate motherhood reported at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Vienna, 2002. The researcher, Fiona MacCallum said: ‘It is often assumed that surrogate mothers will have difficulties handing the child over following the birth. In fact, we found only one instance of the surrogate having slight doubts at this time, with all other mothers reporting no problems’. We should note that in just over three-fifths of the cases, the surrogate mother was also the genetic mother, conception being effected through artificial insemination. BBC News, 1 July, 2002.Google Scholar
  53. 104.
    John Harris, The Value of Life, London: Routledge, 1985, p. 128.Google Scholar
  54. 106.
    Jeff McMahan, The Ethics of Killing, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 359–60. And why would the one killed and recycled have to be a child? Killing to save is becoming more acceptable to ethics experts by the hour (for some references see below, p. 173). In this way they have more or less caught up with what people have said for years about the mass bombing of civilians in WW2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 110.
    Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols, ‘Morality as Anti-Nature’, trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Section 5, Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1990, p. 55. See also p. 59: ‘The Problem of Socrates’, Section 1: ‘the value of life cannot be estimated’ — even to raise the matter at all shows apparently that one lacks wisdom.Google Scholar
  56. 111.
    Reprinted in Luke Gormally, ed., Euthanasia, Clinical Practice and the Law, London: Linacre Centre for Health Care Ethics, 1994, p. 43, fn, see also p. 95. Report first published 1982.Google Scholar
  57. 112.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, ed. E. Bethge, London: SCM Press, 1971, p. 176 fn.Google Scholar
  58. 113.
    Albert Schweitzer, My Life and Thought: An Autobiography, trans. C. T. Campion, London: Allen and Unwin, 1933, p. 271.Google Scholar
  59. 117.
    G. E. Moore, ‘The Nature of Moral Philosophy’, Philosophical Studies, London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1922, p. 327. Of course, we might be unclear when to say that two philosophers were making different estimates about the intrinsic value of this or that, or whether they meant something different by ‘intrinsic value’ in the first place, or whether they had differing unintelligible accounts to offer.Google Scholar
  60. 118.
    J. McT. E. McTaggart, The Nature of Existence, Vol. II, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1927, section 788.Google Scholar
  61. 128.
    Peter Singer, Rethinking Life and Death, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 84–5, 90.Google Scholar
  62. 129.
    John Harris, ‘Not all Babies should be Kept Alive as Long as Possible’, in Raanan Gillon, ed., Principles of Health Care Ethics, Chichester: John Wiley, 1994, p. 644. Professor Harris first says, agreeing with another author who writes in this volume, Alison Davies, that ‘there is no moral difference between the newly fertilized egg, the zygote, and the newly born baby, the neonate’. He then adds, disagreeing with Alison Davies: ‘for me there is no morally significant difference between the unfertilized egg and the zygote’.Google Scholar
  63. 130.
    R. M. Hare, Essays on Bioethics, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. p. 172, italics in text.Google Scholar
  64. 131.
    Rosalind Petchesky, Abortion and Women’s Choice, New York: Longman, 1984, pp. 328–9.Google Scholar
  65. 134.
    Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer, Should the Baby Live?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 123. A curious temptation. What brute animal could have this thought — supposing it were sufficiently intelligible to count as a thought? What mouse could regard mice as more valuable than frogs, etc.?Google Scholar
  66. 139.
    Ronald Dworkin’s ‘Objectivity and Truth’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1996, p. 135.Google Scholar
  67. 141.
    There is useful material here in Arthur O. Lovejoy’s book The Great Chain of Being, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1936. See, for example, the opinion of Kant, quoted on p. 193 (Kant thought we ranked about middle). See also Professor Lovejoy’s comments on the way people had resisted the Coper-nican theory, on the ground that the geocentric view had at least given man his correct, i.e., lowly, status: the status suggested by being at the mere earthy, lowly, uncelestial, centre of things (p. 102).Google Scholar
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    G. E. Moore, ‘The Conception of Intrinsic Value’, Philosophical Studies, London: Routledge, 1922, pp. 260–1, italics in text. The full quotation reads: ‘It is impossible for what is strictly one and the same thing to possess that kind of value [intrinsic value] at one time, or in one set of circumstances, and not to possess it at another; and equally impossible for it to possess it in one degree at one time, or in one set of circumstances, and to possess it in a different degree at another, or in a different set.’Google Scholar
  69. 147.
    Tom Regan, ‘The Case for Animal Rights’, in Peter Singer, ed., In Defence of Animals, Oxford: Blackwell, 1985, p. 23. Professor Regan adds in a way most instructive for our discussion: ‘Whether [inherent value] belongs to others — to rocks and rivers, trees and glaciers, for example, we do not know and may never know.’ What would one need to investigate in order to have a chance of finding out?Google Scholar
  70. 148.
    Ronald Dworkin, ‘Why Liberals Should Care About Equality’, reprinted in A Matter of Principle, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985, p. 205, italics added. (The original printing in New York Review of Books, 3 February 1983, is entitled ‘Why Liberals Should Believe in Equality’.)Google Scholar
  71. 164.
    Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life, London: Allen Lane, 1992.Google Scholar
  72. 166.
    Marjorie L. Reaka-Kudla, Don E. Wilson and Edward O. Wilson, eds, Biodiversity II: Understanding and Protecting Our Biological Resources, Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press, 1997, p. 6.Google Scholar
  73. 174.
    J. S. Mill, Principles of Political Economy, in The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Vol. III, ed. J.M Robson, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965, p. 756. Mill was a keen botanist. He was out on a botanical trip the day before he took to his bed and died.Google Scholar
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    G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903, p. 83.Google Scholar
  75. 183.
    This comes from Russell’s account of Plato in his History of Western Philosophy, London: Allen and Unwin, 1946, pp. 178–9. Compare the passage in An Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy: ‘If we make a pseudo-syllogism: “Men exist, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates exists,” we are talking nonsense … The fallacy is clearly analogous to that of the argument: “Men are numerous, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is numerous”’ (London: Allen and Unwin, 1919, p. 164.Google Scholar
  76. See also ‘The Philosophy of Logical Atomism’ of 1918, Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 8, ed. John G. Slater, London: Allen and Unwin, 1986, p. 205).Google Scholar
  77. 186.
    W. D. Ross, The Right and The Good, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930, p. 116. What entitles him to call this meaning ‘fundamental’?Google Scholar
  78. 187.
    First published in Analysis. Reprinted in Philippa Foot, Theories of Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  79. 188.
    In Ted Honderich, ed., Objectivity and Value. See also ‘Utilitarianism and the Virtues’, Mind, 1985.Google Scholar

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