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Profile: Peter Nichols (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
  1. Peter Nichols (2010). Substance Concepts and Personal Identity. Philosophical Studies 150 (2):255-270.
    According to one argument for Animalism about personal identity, animal , but not person , is a Wigginsian substance concept—a concept that tells us what we are essentially. Person supposedly fails to be a substance concept because it is a functional concept that answers the question “what do we do?” without telling us what we are. Since person is not a substance concept, it cannot provide the criteria for our coming into or going out of existence; animal , on the (...)
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    Peter Nichols (2012). Wide Reflective Equilibrium as a Method of Justification in Bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 33 (5):325-341.
    Carson Strong has recently argued that wide reflective equilibrium (WRE) is an unacceptable method of justification in bioethics. In its place, Strong recommends a methodology in which certain foundational moral judgments play a central role in the justification of moral beliefs, and coherence plays a limited justificatory role in that the rest of our judgments are made to cohere with these foundational judgments. In this paper, I argue that Strong’s chief criticisms of WRE are unsuccessful and that his proposed alternative (...)
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    Peter Nichols (2012). Abortion, Time-Relative Interests, and Futures Like Ours. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):493-506.
    Don Marquis has argued most abortions are immoral, for the same reason that killing you or me is immoral: abortion deprives the fetus of a valuable future. Call this account the FLOA. A rival account is Jeff McMahan’s, time-relative interest account of the wrongness of killing. According to this account, an act of killing is wrong to the extent that it deprives the victim of future value and the relation of psychological unity would have held between the victim at the (...)
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