David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 18 (2):144–180 (2004)
The most plausible pro-life argument claims that abortion is seriously wrong because it deprives the foetus of something valuable. This paper examines two recent versions of this argument. Don Marquis's version takes the valuable thing to be a 'future like ours', a future containing valuable experiences and activities. Jim Stone's version takes the valuable thing to be a future containing conscious goods, which it is the foetus's biological nature to make itself have. I give three grounds for rejecting these arguments. First, they lead to unacceptable inequalities in the wrongness of killing. Second, they lead to counterintuitive results in a range of imaginary cases. Third, they ignore the role of psychological connectedness in determining the magnitude or seriousness of deprivation-based harms: because the foetus is only weakly psychologically connected to its own future, it cannot be seriously harmed by being deprived of that future
|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
Stephen R. Coleman (2000). Thought Experiments and Personal Identity. Philosophical Studies 98 (1):51-66.
Stuart W. G. Derbyshire (1999). Locating the Beginnings of Pain. Bioethics 13 (1):1–31.
J. McMahan (1999). Cloning, Killing, and Identity. Journal of Medical Ethics 25 (2):77-86.
Jeff McMahan (1995). Killing and Equality. Utilitas 7 (01):1-.
Jim Stone (1995). Abortion as Murder?: A Response. Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (1):129-146.
Citations of this work BETA
Dean Stretton (2004). Essential Properties and the Right to Life: A Response to Lee. Bioethics 18 (3):264–282.
Similar books and articles
David F. Walbert (1973). Abortion, Society, and the Law. Cleveland [Ohio]Press of Case Western Reserve University.
F. M. Kamm (1992). Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Chris Meyers (2010). The Fetal Position: A Rational Approach to the Abortion Debate. Prometheus Books.
Marvin Kohl (1971). Abortion and the Argument From Innocence. Inquiry 14 (1-4):147-151.
M. T. Brown (2000). The Morality of Abortion and the Deprivation of Futures. Journal of Medical Ethics 26 (2):103-107.
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.
Alex Rajczi (2009). Abortion, Competing Entitlements, and Parental Responsibility. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (4):379-395.
Phil Gosselin (2000). Can the Potentiality Argument Survive the Contraception Reduction? Journal of Philosophical Research 25:437-458.
Christopher Wareham (2009). Deprivation and the See-Saw of Death. South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):246-56.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #74,950 of 1,707,731 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #205,228 of 1,707,731 )
How can I increase my downloads?