Methodology for the metaphysics of pregnancy

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-19 (2021)
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Abstract

One of the central questions in the metaphysics of pregnancy is this: Is the foetus a part of the mother? In this paper I aim not to answer this question, but rather to raise methodological concerns regarding how to approach answering it. I will outline how various areas attempt to answer whether the foetus is a part of the mother so as to demonstrate the methodological problems that each faces. My positive suggestion will be to adopt a method of reflective equilibrium. The aim of this is to ensure that pregnancy be included in the tribunal of experience that our theories are held up against such that our theories can accommodate what we say about pregnancy, whilst also ensuring that what we say about pregnancy be theoretically informed. That way, we rethink pregnancy in light of our theories as well as rethinking our theories in light of pregnancy.

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Suki Finn
Royal Holloway University of London

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