WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values

Contents of Volume 21

Other volumes of EV

Environmental Values

The Moral Status of Artificial Life

Bernard Baertschi

Environmental Values 21 (2012): 5-18. doi: 10.3197/096327112X13225063227907


Recently at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a microorganism has been created through synthetic biology. In the future, more complex living beings will very probably be produced. In our natural environment, we live amongst a whole variety of beings. Some of them have moral status - they have a moral importance and we cannot treat them in just any way we please -; some do not. When it becomes possible to create artificially living beings who naturally possess moral status, will this artificiality modify their status? Many people contend that it will, but I am not of the same mind and will develop three arguments against it.


Moral status, intrinsic value, artificial life, moral responsibility

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: The Ethics of Engineering. John O’Neill

Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values.

Subscriptions and back numbers of Environmental Values.

Other papers in this volume

The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222