The Monist 76 (2):135-157 (1993)

Herlinde Pauer-Studer
University of Vienna
This paper criticizes Peter Singer‟s position on euthanasia. Singer uses two versions of utilitarianism in order to deal with the issue of the morality of killing: preference-utilitarianism for persons, classical utilitarianism for sentient beings that are not persons (in Singer‟s sense). I try to show that Singer‟s back and forth between preference-utilitarianism and classical utilitarianism raises difficulties in regard to his arguments for the permissibility on non-voluntary euthanasia in the case of severely handicapped children. In the last section of the paper I address the sharp objections to Singer‟s views in German-speaking countries, arguing that these reactions – though in some forms clearly unacceptable – are understandable.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  Philosophy of Science
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ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist19937628
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