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It seems pretty clear that from the consequentialist point of view, persons bear the former status with much more force than they bear the latter. In fact, the extent to which persons bear the latter kind of status merely serves to establish their recognition as ends- in-themselves, or their inviolability, or anything else that is attendant with that status -- indeed, that very status itself -- as a good or a benefit, in the sense in which persons are primarily the recipients of benefits, which can be reckoned in along with the other ordinary benefits (goods of life, health, pleasure, etc.) of which they might be thought to be recipients. In other words, this 'inviolable' status is merely a natural good, subject to the utilitarian calculus which seeks the optimific distribution of goods among its subjects. Only in such a way could a consequentialist argue that violations of personhood are a very bad thing, which should be minimized even if that requires violating a few to prevent a greater number from being violated.

From a non-consequentialist point of view, though, the inviolable status of persons is a moral good. If persons are conceived of primarily as inviolable ends-in-themselves in the way that Quinn and Kamm have characterized them, things look very differently than they did on the consequentialist account. If persons do, as Quinn thinks, properly own their bodies, minds, and lives, then they are not subject to the calculus of social utility in the way many consequentialists think they are. For, "whether we are speaking of ownership or more fundamental forms of possession, something is, morally speaking, his only if his say over what may be done to it (and thereby to him) can override the greater needs of others."25 To say that a person is inviolable is just to say that his or her life, body, mind, and so forth are his or hers to do with what he or she will, within the constraints of morality – constraints, it should be noted, which exist in the first place for the primary purpose of recognizing the fact of persons’ inviolability. If persons are inviolable, then, they may not be harmed, lied to, or otherwise wronged, and furthermore, their lives may not be subjected to the utilitarian calculus – not for the purposes of increasing overall welfare, and not even for the purposes of ensuring that as few persons as possible are violated. It is this latter concept of the status of persons that my bargainers are seeking to see respected and recognized within the set of rules they agree to formulate. And as we are already starting to see, not just any selection of moral


Quinn, 156.


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