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  1. Patrick Lee, Christopher Tollefsen & Robert P. George (2014). The Ontological Status of Embryos: A Reply to Jason Morris. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (5):483-504.
    In various places we have defended the position that a new human organism, that is, an individual member of the human species, comes to be at fertilization, the union of the spermatozoon and the oocyte. This individual organism, during the ordinary course of embryological development, remains the same individual and does not undergo any further substantial change, unless monozygotic twinning, or some form of chimerism occurs. Recently, in this Journal Jason Morris has challenged our position, claiming that recent findings in (...)
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  2. Christopher Tollefsen (2013). Does God Intend Death? Diametros 38:191-200.
    In this paper, I argue that God never intends a human being’s death. The core argument is essentially Thomistic. God wills only the good; and human life is always a good, and its privation always an evil. Thus, St. Thomas holds that “God does not will death as per se intended,” and he gives an account of the act of divine punishment that conforms to this claim. However, some further claims of St. Thomas are in tension with this position – (...)
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  3. Christopher Tollefsen (2013). Pure Perfectionism and the Limits of Paternalism. In John Keown & Robert P. George (eds.), Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis. Oxford University Press. 204.
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  4. Christopher Tollefsen (2013). Reply to Purdy. In Arthur L. Caplan & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Bioethics. John Wiley & Sons. 25--461.
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  5. Christopher Tollefsen (2013). Response to Robert Koons and Matthew O'Brien's “Objects of Intention. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):751 - 778.
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  6. Christopher Kaczor, Can It Be Morally, Christopher Tollefsen & Aquinas Augustine (2012). Discussion and Author Response Articles. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):751-755.
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  7. Christopher Tollefsen (2012). Augustine, Aquinas, and the Absolute Norm Against Lying. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):111-134.
    Recent events concerning the guerilla journalism group Live Action created controversy over the morality of lying for a good cause. In that controversy, I defended the absolutist view about lying, the view that lying, understood as assertion contrary to one’s belief, is always wrong. In this essay, I step back from the specifics of the Live Action case to look more closely at what St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas, had to say in defense of the absolute view. Their approaches, (...)
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  8. Christopher Tollefsen (2012). 3 A Catholic Perspective on Human Dignity. In Stephen Dilley & Nathan J. Palpant (eds.), Human Dignity in Bioethics: From Worldviews to the Public Square. Routledge. 13--49.
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  9. Christopher Tollefsen (2012). The Perspective of Morality. Review of Metaphysics 65 (3):674-675.
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  10. Christopher Tollefsen (2011). Mind the Gap: Charting the Distance Between Christian and Secular Bioethics. Christian Bioethics 17 (1):47-53.
    The gap between Christian and secular bioethics appears to be widening, and inevitably so. In this essay, I identify four areas in which the differences between Christian and secular bioethics are significant, and in light of which secular bioethics, by its inability to attend to key concerns of Christian thought, will inevitably continue to marginalize the latter. How Christian bioethicists should view this marginalization will be the subject of the final section of this paper.
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  11. Christopher Tollefsen (2011). Some Questions for Philosophical Embryology. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 85 (3):447-464.
    A philosophical embryology should have three concerns: first, it should describe the realities discovered by embryology and developmental biology ata higher level of generality than is achieved by those disciplines, and it should integrate this more general representation with philosophy’s other more generalconcepts. Second, it should answer philosophical questions raised by the study of embryological development if, as I believe, there are some. And third, it mustbe prepared to engage in a philosophical dialectic with those whose general representations work with (...)
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  12. Christopher Tollefsen (2010). Divine, Human, and Embryo Adoption. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 10 (1):75-85.
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  13. Christopher Tollefsen (2009). Book Reviews:The Morality of Embryo Use. [REVIEW] Ethics 119 (2):356-362.
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  14. Christopher Tollefsen (2009). No Problem. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):583-591.
    Is the human zygote and human embryo a human being? Such questions are biological questions (although philosophy may helpfully be drawn upon in rebutting objections and clarifying concepts). The issue of personhood is thus best kept entirely off the table when that question is being discussed. What is, or is not, possible for ontological persons, and what would, or would not, be morallywarranted for moral persons, should not play a role in the assessment of biological evidence with a view to (...)
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  15. Christopher Tollefsen (2009). Poverty, Justice, and Western Political Thought (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 151-152.
  16. Christopher Tollefsen (2008). Biomedical Research and Beyond: Expanding the Ethics of Inquiry. Routledge.
    Biomedical Research and Beyond: Expanding the Ethics of Inquiry investigates the ethics of biomedical and scientific inquiry, including embryonic research, animal research, genetic enhancement, and fairness in research in the developing world. Core concerns of biomedical and scientific research ethics are then shown also to be key in humanistic areas of inquiry. Biomedical Research and Beyond concludes with a discussion of the virtues that all inquirers, scientific, medical, and humanistic, should possess.
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  17. Christopher Tollefsen (2008). Ten Errors Regarding End of Life Issues, and Especially Artificial Nutrition and Hydration. In C. Tollefsen (ed.), Artificial Nutrition and Hydration. Springer Press. 213--226.
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  18. Christopher Tollefsen (2008). The Ever-Conscious View: A Critique. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 8 (1):43-48.
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  19. Christopher Tollefsen (2007). Religious Reasons and Public Healthcare Deliberations. Christian Bioethics 13 (2):139-157.
    This paper critically explores the path of some of the controversies over public reason and religion through four distinct steps. The first part of this article considers the engagement of John Finnis and Robert P. George with John Rawls over the nature of public reason. The second part moves to the question of religion by looking at the engagement of Nicholas Wolterstorff with Rawls, Robert Audi, and others. Here the question turns specifically to religious reasons, and their permissible use by (...)
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  20. Christopher Tollefsen (2006). Fission, Fusion, and the Simple View. Christian Bioethics 12 (3):255-263.
    In this essay, I defend three Simple Views concerning human beings. First, that the human embryo is, from the one-cell stage onwards, a single unitary organism. Second, that when an embryo twins, it ceases to exist and two new embryos come into existence. And third, that you and I are essentially human organisms. This cluster of views shows that it is not necessary to rely on co-location, or other obscure claims, in understanding human embryogenesis.
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  21. Christopher Tollefsen (2006). Is a Purely First Person Account of Human Action Defensible? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):441 - 460.
    There are two perspectives available from which to understand an agent's intention in acting. The first is the perspective of the acting agent: what did she take to be her end, and the means necessary to achieve that end? The other is a third person perspective that is attentive to causal or conceptual relations: was some causal outcome of the agent's action sufficiently close, or so conceptually related, to what the agent did that it should be considered part of her (...)
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  22. Christopher Tollefsen (2006). MacIntyre and the Moralization of Enquiry. International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (4):421-438.
    Are there moral norms or virtues, the application or exercise of which are necessary for successful progress in enquiry? This paper considers the work of one thinker who is convinced of an affi rmative answer to this question, Alasdair MacIntyre. For MacIntyre, the possibility of progress in enquiry depends, ultimately, on the way in which the virtues, and related normative requirements such as that demanding narrative unity to a life, shape and govern the context and practice of enquiry. Correlatively, MacIntyre (...)
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  23. Christopher Tollefsen (2006). Persons in Time. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1):107-123.
    It can seem implausible that a merely bodily existence could be also a personal existence. Two related lines of thought can mitigate this implausibility. The first, developed in the first part of this paper, is the thought that our bodily existence is better described as an organic, animal existence. Organisms, I argue, are essentially temporal; this essential temporality makes sense of the possibility thatsome organisms are persons. The second line of thought, addressed in the second part of the paper, considers (...)
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  24. Christopher Tollefsen (2006). Reasons for Action and Reasons for Belief. Social Epistemology 20 (1):55 – 65.
    As Alan Wood has recently pointed out, there is "a long and strong philosophical traditionthat parcels out cognitive tasks to human faculties in such a way that belief is assigned to the will".1 Such an approach lends itself to addressing the ethics of belief as an extension of practical ethics. It also lends itself to a treatment of reasons for belief that is an extension of its treatment of reasons for action, for our awareness of reasons for action provides the (...)
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  25. Christopher Tollefsen (2006). The President's Council on Bioethics: Overview and Assessment. [REVIEW] HEC Forum 18 (2):99-107.
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  26. Christopher Tollefsen (2004). Introduction: On the Edges of Informed Consent. HEC Forum 16 (1):1-5.
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  27. Christopher Tollefsen (2004). Natural Law and Modern Meta-Ethics. In Mark J. Cherry (ed.), Natural Law and the Possibility of a Global Ethics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 39--56.
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  28. Christopher Tollefsen (2003). Experience Machines, Dreams, and What Matters. Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (2):153-164.
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  29. Christopher Tollefsen & Mark J. Cherry (2003). Pragmatism and Bioethics: Diagnosis or Cure? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (5 & 6):533 – 544.
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  30. Christopher Tollefsen (2002). Practical Reason and Ethics Above the Line. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):67-87.
    In John McDowell's recent Woodbridge Lectures at Columbia University, he characterizes Wilfrid Sellars's master thought, in Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, as drawing a line between two types of characterizations of states that occur in people's mental lives: Above the line are placings in the logical space of reasons, and below it are characterizations that do not do that (McDowell, 1998, p. 433). In this essay, I ask what would be required for ethics to be above the line. More (...)
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  31. Christopher Tollefsen (2001). Embryos, Individuals, and Persons: An Argument Against Embryo Creation and Research. Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (1):65–78.
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  32. Christopher Tollefsen (2000). Direct and Indirect Action Revisited. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 74 (4):653-670.
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  33. Christopher Tollefsen (2000). Journalism and the Social Good. Public Affairs Quarterly 14 (4):293-308.
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  34. Christopher Tollefsen (2000). What Would John Dewey Do? The Promises and Perils of Pragmatic Bioethics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (1):77 – 106.
    Recent work done at the intersection of classical American pragmatism and bioethics promises much: a clarified self-understanding for bioethics, a modus vivendi for progress, and liberation from misguided and misguiding theories and principles. The revival of pragmatism outside bioethics in the past twenty years, however, has been of a distinctly anti-realist orientation. Richard Rorty, for example, has urged that there is no objective truth or good for philosophy to be concerned with. I ask whether the work in Pragmatic Bioethics follows (...)
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  35. Christopher O. Tollefsen (2000). McDowell's Moral Realism and the Secondary Quality Analogy. Disputatio:1-13.
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  36. Christopher Tollefsen (1999). Sidgwickian Objectivity and Ordinary Morality. Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (1):57-70.
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  37. Christopher Tollefsen (1998). Response to “Reassessing the Reliability of Advance Directives” by Thomas May (CQ Vol. 6, No. 5) Advance Directives and Voluntary Slavery. [REVIEW] Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (4):405-413.
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  38. Christopher Tollefsen (1998). Response to “Reassessing the Reliability of Advance Directives” by Thomas May (CQ Vol. 6, No. 5). Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (4):405-413.
    In a recent article Thomas May has argued that the use of advance directives (ADs) to respect a no longer competent patient's autonomy is a failed strategy. Respect for patient autonomy is clearly one of the guiding moral principles of modern medicine, and its importance is reflected in medical emphasis on informed consent. Prima facie, at least, ADs seem likewise to respect patient autonomy by allowing patients to make decisions about treatment in advance of situations in which the patient may (...)
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  39. Christopher Tollefsen (1997). Donagan, Abortion, and Civil Rebellion. Public Affairs Quarterly 11 (3):303-312.
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  40. Christopher Tollefsen (1997). Self-Assessing Emotions and Platonic Fear. International Philosophical Quarterly 37 (3):305-318.
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