David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (4):301-330 (2007)
The philosophers Peter Singer and Jeff McMahan hold variations of the view that infant interests in continued life are suspect because infants lack the cognitive complexity to anticipate the future. Since infants cannot see themselves as having a future, Singer argues that the future cannot have value for them, and McMahan argues that the future can only have minimal value for an infant. This paper critically analyzes these arguments and defends the view that infants can have interests in continuing to live. Even though infants themselves lack a strong psychological connection to the future, others who are involved in an infant’s life can anticipate, on an infant’s behalf, the kind of future that awaits the infant, and on the basis of this insight judge that continuing to live would be in the infant’s interests. After defending this position, I argue that this position on the interests of infants in continued life does not commit one to opposing abortion, and it does not commit one to the view that our ethical obligations to protect the lives of sentient animals are the same as our ethical obligations to protect infant lives.
|Keywords||abortion care infanticide infants moral status|
|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
Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Singer (ed.) (1990). Animal Liberation. Avon Books.
H. Tristram Engelhardt (1996). The Foundations of Bioethics. Oxford University Press.
Marya Schechtman (1996). The Constitution of Selves. Cornell University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stein Braten (2004). Hominin Infant Decentration Hypothesis: Mirror Neurons System Adapted to Subserve Mother-Centered Participation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):508-509.
Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (1996). An Empirical-Phenomenological Critique of the Social Construction of Infancy. Human Studies 19 (1):1 - 16.
Aaron Simmons (2009). Do Animals Have an Interest in Continued Life? Environmental Ethics 31 (4):375-392.
Hideko Takeshita (2001). Dynamic Comparison of the Development of Combinatory Manipulations Between Chimpanzee and Human Infants. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):65-66.
Edward H. Hagen (2004). Is Excessive Infant Crying an Honest Signal of Vigor, One Extreme of a Continuum, or a Strategy to Manipulate Parents? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):463-464.
Michael Lockwood (1979). Singer on Killing and the Preference for Life. Inquiry 22 (1-4):157 – 170.
David Spurrett & Andrew Dellis (2004). Putting Infants in Their Place. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):524-525.
Alan Jotkowitz, S. Glick & B. Gesundheit (2008). A Case Against Justified Non-Voluntary Active Euthanasia (the Groningen Protocol). American Journal of Bioethics 8 (11):23 – 26.
Helga Kuhse (1986). Death by Non-Feeding: Not in the Baby's Best Interests. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 7 (2):79-90.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #124,740 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?