Assessing Ontologies: The Question of Human Origins and Its Ethical Significance

In E. Runggaldier & C. Kanzian (eds.), Persons: An Interdisciplinary Approach. öbv&hpt. pp. 243--259 (2003)
In their paper “Sixteen Days” Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard try to answer the question: when does a human being begin to exist? In this paper we will address some methodological issues connected with this exercise in ontology. We shall begin by sketching the argument of “Sixteen Days”. We shall then attempt to characterize what is special about the ontological realism of “Sixteen Days” as contrasted to the linguistic constructivism which represents the more dominant current in contemporary analytic philosophy. This will allow us to infer guidelines for assessing the quality of ontological theories of various types. We shall argue that ontological parsimony, groundedness, faithfulness to ordinary language, consistency with science, coherence, and fruitfulness are at least part of the adequacy criteria for such theories. These criteria will then be applied to the theory presented in “Sixteen Days”, and they will lead us to some revisions of this theory as well as to some reflections on its ethical implications.
Keywords abortion  ontology  medical ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Sixteen Days.Barry Smith & Berit Brogaard - 2003 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (1):45 – 78.
Ontological Categories in GOL.Barbara Heller & Heinrich Herre - 2004 - Axiomathes 14 (1-3):57-76.
Stuff Versus Individuals.Lucía Lewowicz & Olimpia Lombardi - 2013 - Foundations of Chemistry 15 (1):65-77.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
206 ( #23,829 of 2,237,468 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #17,938 of 2,237,468 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature