Ectogestation involves the gestation of a fetus in an ex utero environment. The possibility of this technology raises a significant question for the abortion debate: Does a woman’s right to end her pregnancy entail that she has a right to the death of the fetus when ectogestation is possible? Some have argued that it does not Mathison & Davis. Others claim that, while a woman alone does not possess an individual right to the death of the fetus, the genetic parents (...) have a collective right to its death Räsänen. In this paper, I argue that the possibility of ectogestation will radically transform the problem of abortion. The argument that I defend purports to show that, even if it is not a person, there is no right to the death of a fetus that could be safely removed from a human womb and gestated in an artificial womb, because there are competent people who are willing to care for and raise the fetus as it grows into a person. Thus, given the possibility of ectogestation, the moral status of the fetus plays no substantial role in determining whether there is a right to its death. (shrink)
My dissertation puts forward a critique of the phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT). According to standard accounts of PIT, all genuine intentionality is either identical to or partly grounded in phenomenal consciousness. I argue that it is a conceptually significant mistake to construe conscious experiences in terms of token mental states that instantiate phenomenal properties. This mistake is predicated on ignoring an important difference in the temporal character—what I call the “temporal shape”—between states and properties as opposed to conscious experiences. States (...) and properties lack a temporal shape, but conscious experience has a temporal shape. Thus, in order to adequately capture our phenomenology of temporality we need a mental ontology that adequately reflects this distinction. A second aim of this dissertation is to defend a mereological account of phenomenal intentionality, which says that phenomenality and intentionality are related by being proper parts of a first-personal, subjective, mental event. On this approach, the conditions of satisfaction for a subject’s first-personal, subjective, mental event just are the conditions of satisfaction for phenomenal intentionality. I explore the theoretical grounds for a mereological account of phenomenal intentionality and conclude that it does a better job of explaining difficult cases like the problem of unconscious thought (e.g., your belief that “grass is green”). Thus, we have prima facie support for a mereological account of phenomenal intentionality exactly where competing accounts fail. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions concerning ectogestation are trending. And given that the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), questions regarding the moral and legal status of abortion in light of the advent of ectogestation will likely continue to be of central importance in the coming years. If ectogestation can intersect with or even determine abortion policy in the future, then a new philosophical analysis of the legal status of abortion is both (...) warranted and urgently needed. I argue that, even if there is no ‘moral’ right to fetal destruction once ectogestation becomes a reality, societies ought not to implement legal prohibitions on a pregnant person’s ability to safely obtain an abortion that results in fetal death because such laws are systemically misogynistic. (shrink)
It may be true that we are epistemically in the dark about various things. Does this fact ground the truth of fallibilism? No. Still, even the most zealous skeptic will probably grant that it is not clear that one can be incognizant of their own occurrent phenomenal conscious mental goings-on. Even so, this does not entail infallibilism. Philosophers who argue that occurrent conscious experiences play an important epistemic role in the justification of introspective knowledge assume that there are occurrent beliefs. (...) But this assumption is false. This paper argues that there are no occurrent beliefs. And it considers the epistemic consequences this result has for views that attempt to show that at least some phenomenal beliefs are infallible. (shrink)
This paper argues that we should reject G. E. Moore’s anti-skeptical argument as it is presented in “Proof of an External World.” However, the reason I offer is different from traditional objections. A proper understanding of Moore’s “proof” requires paying attention to an important distinction between two forms of skepticism. I call these Ontological Skepticism and Epistemic Skepticism. The former is skepticism about the ontological status of fundamental reality, while the latter is skepticism about our empirical knowledge. Philosophers often assume (...) that Moore’s response to “external world skepticism” deals exclusively with the former, not the latter. But this is a mistake. I shall argue that Moore’s anti-skeptical argument targets an ontological form of skepticism. Thus, the conclusion is an ontological claim about fundamental reality, while the premises are epistemic claims. If this is correct, then the conclusion outstrips the scope of its premises and proves too much. (shrink)
In these replies, I shall respond to criticisms offered by Kaczor and Rodger to my article titled “Ectogestation and the Problem of Abortion.” In the process, I shall also try to bring into focus why the possibility of ectogestation will radically alter the shape of the abortion debate.