Synechistic Bioethics: How a Peircean Views the Abortion Debate

Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (2):151-170 (2006)
I provide an account of the moral status of pre-birth humans that integrates ideas from Charles Peirce, including: synechism, the idea that "all that exists is continuous"; the reality of "Seconds," independently existing individual entities; and Peirce's pragmatic conceptions of truth and reality. This account implies that destroying a pre-birth human is determinately moral very soon after conception and determinately immoral very late in pregnancy. But it also implies that during much of gestation, destroying a pre-birth human is of indeterminate moral status, neither determinately moral nor determinately immoral.
Keywords Peirce  abortion  continuity
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