David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):547-580 (2007)
The formula of universal law (FUL) is a natural starting point for philosophers interested in a Kantian perspective on the morality of abortion. I argue, however, that FUL does not yield much in the way of promising or substantive conclusions regarding the morality of abortion. I first reveal how two philosophers' (Hare's and Gensler's) attempts to use Kantian considerations of universality and prescriptivity fail to provide analyses of abortion that are either compelling or true to Kant=s understanding of FUL. I then turn to some recent interpretations of Kant=s FUL contradiction in conception (CC) and contradiction in will (CW) tests. I argue that none of the interpretations of the CC testBincluding the practical interpretation favored by KorsgaardBdoes much to reveal moral problems with maxims of abortion. The CW test (as developed by Herman) is more helpful. Nevertheless, I argue that neither by considering abortion maxims as a subset of maxims of convenience killing, nor by considering such maxims as maxims of refusing to aid, can the CW test generate a general prohibition of abortion. At best, the CW test illuminates the abortion issue because by forcing us to think about how killing a fetus differs from killing other human beings, what attitudes we may reasonably have toward a fetus, and whether Kant's moral theory must be amended to do justice to the problem of abortion. But to pursue these questions, we must look beyond FUL; Kant’s formula of humanity and doctrine of virtue may well have more to offer.
|Keywords||Kantian ethics formula of universal law abortion|
|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
Christopher Robert Kaczor (2010). The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice. Routledge.
Noriaki Iwasa (2013). Reason Alone Cannot Identify Moral Laws. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):67-85.
Soran Reader (2008). Abortion, Killing, and Maternal Moral Authority. Hypatia 23 (1):132-149.
F. M. Kamm (1992). Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
David F. Walbert (1973). Abortion, Society, and the Law. Cleveland [Ohio]Press of Case Western Reserve University.
Lara Denis (2007). Abortion and Kant's Formula of Universal Law. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):547-579.
Lara Denis (2008). Animality and Agency: A Kantian Approach to Abortion. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):117-37.
Added to index2009-02-05
Total downloads287 ( #8,464 of 1,934,420 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #30,690 of 1,934,420 )
How can I increase my downloads?