David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Human Studies 27 (4):417 - 427 (2004)
In this article I will address the question of determining the moral limits of reproductive decisions. In so doing I will examine the contributions made by John Harris, who has over the years consistently addressed the ethical implications of advancing reproductive technologies. In addressing these matters, Harris has centred his arguments on the principle of harm and with this in mind has set out a specific theoretical framework from which decisions about disability and causing harm, as in the case of reproductive decisions, can be rationally addressed. This discussion will attempt to question the conceptual scheme that he proposes. The aim here is not to present an alternative theoretical contribution to the morality of reproductive choice. Rather, in the attempt to follow some of the directives in Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, the aim is to demonstrate some of the pitfalls of what Wittgenstein has described as the “craving for generality” in contemporary philosophy. I propose that this craving can distort, in this instance, our ordinary usage of concepts such as harm, suffering and disability and their role in the moral vocabulary of reproductive decision making.
|Keywords||ethics harm Harris John moral action reproduction|
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References found in this work BETA
Raimond Gaita (1991). Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception. St. Martin's Press.
John Harris (1985). The Value of Life. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
John Harris (1992). Wonderwoman and Superman: The Ethics of Human Biotechnology. Oxford University Press.
Peter Winch (1972). Ethics and Action. London,Routledge and Kegan Paul.
J. Harris (2001). One Principle and Three Fallacies of Disability Studies. Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (6):383-387.
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