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The Argument that Marginalizes

A common argument made by philosophical theorists who write about other animals is the so-called "argument from marginal cases." The argument is used in an attempt to show that other animals are either deserving or undeserving of moral status. In terms of classification, the "argument from marginal cases" holds that a human animal is still a human even if they don't meet all the characteristics that are associated with humanness. That is, a human infant or mentally disabled human (the two most commonly discussed "marginal cases") may not meet the characteristics of rationality and intelligence associated with humanness, but they are both still humans. However, since these humans meet a lower standard or limited quality of humanness, they are considered "marginal cases." (Read more...)