The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):275-304 (2013)

John Fischer
University of California, Riverside
I explore two thought-experiments in Judith Jarvis Thomson’s important article, “A Defense of Abortion”: the violinist example and the people-seeds example. I argue (contra Thomson) that you have a moral duty not to unplug yourself from the violinist and also a moral duty not to destroy a people-seed that has landed in your sofa. Nevertheless, I also argue that there are crucial differences between the thought-experiments and the contexts of pregnancy due to rape or to contraceptive failure. In virtue of these differences, it would not follow from my conclusions about the violinist and people-seeds cases that abortion would not be permissible in a case of rape or in a case of voluntary intercourse with contraceptive failure
Keywords Abortion  Cabin Case  Judith Jarvis Thomson  Person  Rape  Voluntary intercourse  Violinist example  People-seeds example
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DOI 10.1007/s10892-013-9152-z
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
A Defense of Abortion.David Boonin - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Voluntary Euthanasia and the Inalienable Right to Life.Joel Feinberg - 1978 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 7 (2):93-123.
Beginning Lives.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1992 - Noûs 26 (1):134-137.

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Citations of this work BETA

Abortion and Ectogenesis: Moral Compromise.William Simkulet - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (2):93-98.
Philosophical Success.Nathan Hanna - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2109-2121.
Abortion, Property, and Liberty.William Simkulet - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (4):373-383.

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