A dualist analysis of abortion: personhood and the concept of self qua experiential subject

Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (1):48-55 (2005)
Abstract
There is no issue more central to the abortion debate than the controversial issue of whether the fetus is a moral person. Abortion-rights opponents almost universally claim that abortion is murder and should be legally prohibited because the fetus is a moral person at the moment of conception. Abortion-rights proponents almost universally deny the crucial assumption that the fetus is a person; on their view, whatever moral disvalue abortion involves does not rise to the level of murder and hence does not rise to the level of something that should be legally prohibited.In this essay, I argue that, under dualist assumptions about the nature of mind, the fetus is not a person until brain activity has begun.i First, I argue it is a necessary condition for a thing to be a moral person that it is a self. Second, I argue it is a necessary condition for a fetus to be a self, under dualist assumptions, that there has been some electrical activity in the brain. I conclude that a dualist can take the position that abortion ought to be legally permitted at least until the beginning of brain activity in the fetus
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2002.000828
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,727
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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
What is Being Qua Being?Allan Bäck - 2004 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 82 (1):37-58.
Neuroscience and Personhood.Dan Ernst - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 25:21-28.
Metaphysics, Ethics and Personhood.Gregory E. Ganssle - 2005 - Faith and Philosophy 22 (3):370-376.
What Philosophy of Mind Can Tell Us About the Morality of Abortion.Kenneth Einar Himma - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):89-109.
Doubts About a Classic Defence of Abortion.Jo Difford - 2011 - Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 (1):122-129.
The Latin Avicenna and Aquinas on the Relationship Between God and the Subject of Metaphysics.Peter Furlong - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:129-140.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-24

Total downloads

17 ( #274,124 of 2,146,284 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #386,104 of 2,146,284 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums