David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):117-37 (2008)
This paper situates abortion in the context of women’s duties to themselves. I argue that Kant’s fundamental moral requirement (found in the formula of humanity) to respect oneself as a rational being, combined with Kant’s view of our animal nature, form the basis for a view of pregnancy and abortion that focuses on women’s agency and moral character without diminishing the importance of their bodies and emotions. The Kantian view of abortion that emerges takes abortion to be morally problematic, but sometimes permissible, and sometimes even required. I first sketch Kant’s account to duties to oneself, highlighting duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. Next, I discuss pregnancy and the challenges it poses to women’s self-preservation, development, and efficacy as rational human agents. I then give my main argument: that abortion is morally problematic because it is antagonistic to an important subset of morally useful emotions that we have self-regarding duties to protect and cultivate. I argue that self-regarding moral considerations ground a rebuttable deliberative presumption against maxims of abortion for inclination-based ends. Finally, I consider three objections to this account of abortion: that it rests on implausible assumptions about the effects of abortion on women’s morally useful sentiments; that it portrays the virtuous agent’s reasoning about abortion as objectionably self-regarding; and that it fails adequately to recognize the moral significance of the fetus as a potential rational being.
|Keywords||Kantian ethics abortion duties to oneself|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Lara Denis (2000). Kant's Conception of Duties Regarding Animals: Reconstruction and Reconsideration. History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (4):405-23.
Lara Denis (1997). Kant's Ethics and Duties to Oneself. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):321–348.
Lara Denis (2007). Abortion and Kant's Formula of Universal Law. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):547-580.
David F. Walbert (1973). Abortion, Society, and the Law. Cleveland [Ohio]Press of Case Western Reserve University.
Soran Reader (2008). Abortion, Killing, and Maternal Moral Authority. Hypatia 23 (1):132-149.
Richard Schoenig (1998). Abortion, Christianity, and Consistency. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 5 (1):32-37.
F. M. Kamm (1992). Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
A. Giubilini (2012). Abortion and the Argument From Potential: What We Owe to the Ones Who Might Exist. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):49-59.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads206 ( #3,413 of 1,413,433 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #23,652 of 1,413,433 )
How can I increase my downloads?