In my previous post, I presented an account of moral status in terms of final value and direct obligations. About a year ago, another featured author, David Killoren, presented his "Extended Narrativity Hypothesis" (ENH) to acount for a the different obligations we have towards livestock and our pets (which he sums up elsewhere as a reformed "animal caste system") (see more details here and here). He wrote,
If the Extended Narrativity Hypothesis is true, then there are at least three categories of morally important beings, which I label as follows: self-actualized persons (including intellectually normal human beings) who possess non-fungible value in virtue of their self-narration of their own lives; persons-by-proxy (including pets) who possess non-fungible value in virtue of others' narration of their lives; and non-persons (including livestock) who do not possess any non-fungible value.
This three-way division of morally important beings can be used to explain why humans, livestock, and pets seem to belong to distinct moral categories. This is a big advantage for the Extended Narrativity Hypothesis, in my opinion.
In the wake of my previous post, I'd like to offer a reply to David. While I am very sympathetic to the attempt to account for different obligations based on other features than just an animal's intrinsic properties, and while the ENH seems to plausibly account for some widespread intuitions about pets and livestock, I take issue with the way David frames the kind of value grounding our obligations and with his argument for generally excluding livetsock from the realm of narrative value.