David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Elizabeth Harman has presented a novel view on the moral status of early fetuses that she calls the “Actual Future Principle” (hereafter the AFP): An early fetus that will become a person has some moral status. An early fetus that will die while it is still an early fetus has no moral status. This view is said to justify a "very liberal" position on abortion, that "early abortion requires no moral justification whatsoever," and show this position to be "more attractive than has previously been thought." Harman concedes that the AFP "may appear to be incoherent or be plainly wrong on its face." I argue that she does not defeat this appearance: strong arguments are not given in its favor. I will undercut Harman's main argument for the AFP by showing that no defender of abortion needs to accept the AFP to reasonably retain her views. Since the AFP is not adequately defended, Harman does not provide a strong argument for her view on abortion. I will note, however, that Harman's liberal view on abortion may, in fact, imply very little about the morality of most actual abortions.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Elizabeth Harman (1999). Creation Ethics: The Moral Status of Early Fetuses and the Ethics of Abortion. Philosophy and Public Affairs 28 (4):310–324.
R. Jo Kornegay (2011). Hursthouse's Virtue Ethics and Abortion: Abortion Ethics Without Metaphysics? [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):51-71.
Elizabeth Harman (2007). How is the Ethics of Stem Cell Research Different From the Ethics of Abortion? Metaphilosophy 38 (2-3):207–225.
F. M. Kamm (1992). Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Paul A. Roth (1983). Personhood, Property Rights, and the Permissibility of Abortion. Law and Philosophy 2 (2):163 - 191.
N. Nobis (2011). Abortion, Metaphysics and Morality: A Review of Francis Beckwith's Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice. [REVIEW] Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (3):261-273.
C. Strong (2008). A Critique of “the Best Secular Argument Against Abortion”. Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (10):727-731.
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 downloads38 ( #47,799 of 1,099,742 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #66,629 of 1,099,742 )
How can I increase my downloads?