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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos - A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments

Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos

A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments

Napier, Stephen (Ed.)

2011, XIV, 286 p.

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  • The book offers novel arguments and explores new territory on the abortion issue.
  • The book brings together a host of primarily analytical philosophers, public policy persons, and scientists to provide a comprehensive analysis of the abortion issue.
  • The book aims to tether its analyses to specific claims, thereby entering into a dialogue with abortion-rights advocates.
“Bioethicists have achieved consensus on two ideas pertaining to beginning of life issues: (1) persons are those beings capable of higher-order cognition, or self-consciousness, and (2) it is impermissible to kill only persons. As a consequence, a consensus is reached regarding the permissibility of both destroying human embryos for research purposes and abortion. The present collection aims to interact critically with this consensus. Authors address various aspects of this ‘orthodoxy’. Issues discussed include: theories of personhood and in particular the role of thought experiments used in support of such theories; the notion of an intrinsic potential and the moral relevance of having one; new formulations of the virtue argument against abortion rights; four-dimensionalism and abortion; the notion of moral status and who (or what) has it; scientific accounts of what a human being is, as well as addressing empirical evidence of fetal consciousness; and analysis of the public policy implications given the epistemic status of pro-choice arguments. Given the issues discussed and that the arguments in critical focus are fairly new, the collection provides a novel, comprehensive, and rigorous analysis of contemporary pro-choice arguments.”

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Abortion - Abortion rights - Abortion – ethical aspects - Embryonic stem-cell research – ethical aspects - Metaphysics - Moral Epistemology - Ontology - Pro -choice - Pro-life

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility

Table of contents 

 Introduction: What are Persons? What is Valuable?
     Stephen Napier

Part 1. Philosophical Considerations

 I was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong   
Alexander Pruss

 Brain Life and the Argument from Potential: Affirming the Ontological Status of Human Embryos and Fetuses,
 Jason T. Eberl and Brandon P. Brown

The Human Being, a Person of Substance: A Response to Dean Stretton, Francis J. Beckwith

The Concept of Person in Bioethics, Anselm Winfried Müller

 Abortion and Virtue Ethics Mathew Lu

 Embryos, Four-Dimensionalism, and Moral Status, David Hershenov

 The Christian Hypothesis, David W. Fagerberg

 Fetal Interests, Fetal Persons, and Human Goods, Christopher Tollefsen

Part 2. Scientific Considerations

 Fetal Pains and Fetal Brains, A.A. Howsepian

 A Biological Definition of the Human Embryo,
 Maureen L. Condic

Part 3. Perspectives from Law and Political Philosophy

 Public Reason and Abortion Revisited, David Thunder

Sexual Markets and the Law, Helen M. Alvaré

Index

 

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