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William Simkulet [52]William M. Simkulet [1]
  1.  36
    The inconsistency argument: why apparent pro-life inconsistency undermines opposition to induced abortion.William Simkulet - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (7):461-465.
    Most opposition to induced abortion turns on the belief that human fetuses are persons from conception. On this view, the moral status of the fetus alone requires those in a position to provide aid—gestational mothers—to make tremendous sacrifices to benefit the fetus. Recently, critics have argued that this pro-life position requires more than opposition to induced abortion. Pro-life theorists are relatively silent on the issues of spontaneous abortion, surplus in vitro fertilisation human embryos, and the suffering and death of born (...)
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  2.  75
    Abortion and Ectogenesis: Moral Compromise.William Simkulet - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (2):93-98.
    The contemporary philosophical literature on abortion primarily revolves around three seemingly intractable debates, concerning the (1) moral status of the fetus, (2) scope of women’s rights and (3) moral relevance of the killing/letting die distinction. The possibility of ectogenesis—technology that would allow a fetus to develop outside of a gestational mother’s womb—presents a unique opportunity for moral compromise. Here, I argue those opposed to abortion have aprima faciemoral obligation to pursue ectogenesis technology and provide ectogenesis for disconnected fetuses as part (...)
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  3.  37
    Cursed lamp: the problem of spontaneous abortion.William Simkulet - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (11):784-791.
    Many people believe human fetuses have the same moral status as adult human persons, that it is wrong to allow harm to befall things with this moral status, and thus voluntary, induced abortion is seriously morally wrong. Recently, many prochoice theorists have argued that this antiabortion stance is inconsistent; approximately 60% of human fetuses die from spontaneous abortion, far more than die from induced abortion, so if antiabortion theorists really believe that human fetuses have significant moral status, they have strong (...)
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  4.  70
    Nudging, informed consent and bullshit.William Simkulet - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (8):536-542.
    Some philosophers have argued that during the process of obtaining informed consent, physicians should try to nudge their patients towards consenting to the option the physician believes best, where a nudge is any influence that is expected to predictably alter a person’s behaviour without restricting her options. Some proponents of nudging even argue that it is a necessary and unavoidable part of securing informed consent. Here I argue that nudging is incompatible with obtaining informed consent. I assume informed consent requires (...)
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  5.  35
    The Two tragedies argument.William Simkulet - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (5):304-308.
    Opposition to induced abortion rests on the belief that fetuses have a moral status comparable to beings like us, and that the loss of such a life is tragic. Antiabortion, or pro-life, theorists argue that it is wrong to induce abortion and it is wrong to allow others to perform induced abortion. However, evidence suggests that spontaneous abortion kills far more fetuses than induced abortion, and critics argue that most pro-life theorists neglect the threat of spontaneous abortion and ought to (...)
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  6.  35
    On the impairment argument.William Simkulet - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (5):400-406.
    Most opposition to abortion stands or falls on whether a fetus is the sort of being whose life it is seriously wrong to end. In her influential paper ‘A defense of abortion,’ Judith Jarvis Thomson effectively sidesteps this issue, assuming the fetus is a person with the right to life yet arguing this alone does not give it the right to use the mother’s body. In a recent article, Perry Hendricks takes inspiration from Thomson and assumes the fetus is not (...)
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  7.  29
    A Critique of Henrik Friberg‐Fernros's Defense of the Substance View.William Simkulet - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (9):767-773.
    Proponents of the substance view contend that abortion is seriously morally wrong because it is killing something with the same inherent value and right to life as you or I. Rob Lovering offers two innovative criticisms of the anti-abortion position taken by the substance view – the rescue argument and the problem of spontaneous abortion. Henrik Friberg-Fernros offers an interesting response to Lovering, but one I argue would be inconsistent with the anti-abortion stance taken by most substance view theorists.
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  8.  44
    Intention and Moral Enhancement.William Simkulet - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (9):714-720.
    Recently philosophers have proposed a wide variety of interventions referred to as ‘moral enhancements’. Some of these interventions are concerned with helping individuals make more informed decisions; others, however, are designed to compel people to act as the intervener sees fit. Somewhere between these two extremes lie interventions designed to direct an agent's attention either towards morally relevant issues – hat-hanging – or away from temptations to do wrong – hat-hiding. I argue that these interventions fail to constitute genuine moral (...)
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  9.  21
    Restrictivism, Abortion, and Organ Donation.William Simkulet - 2022 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 31 (3):348-354.
  10.  31
    Substance, rights, value, and abortion.William Simkulet - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (9):1002-1011.
    Most serious contemporary opposition to abortion is grounded on the belief that human fetuses are members of the same moral category as beings like us, and that the loss of any such life is one of the worst possible losses. Substance view theorists oppose abortion for this reason: in their view beings like us are essentially rational substances with inherent moral worth, and those who perform induced abortion fail to recognize this moral worth. In a recent series of articles, Rob (...)
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  11.  15
    Two Tragedies Argument: Two Mistakes.William Simkulet - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (8):562-564.
    Most opposition to abortion turns on the claim that human fetuses are full moral agents from conception. Critics argue that antiabortion theorists act hypocritically when they neglect spontaneous abortions—valuing some fetal lives and not others. Many philosophers draw a distinction between killing and letting die, with the former being morally impermissible and latter acceptable. Henrick Friberg-Fernros appeals to this distinction with his Two Tragedies Argument, contending that anti-abortion theorists are justified in prioritising preventing induced abortions over spontaneous ones, as the (...)
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  12.  52
    Informed consent and nudging.William Simkulet - 2018 - Bioethics 33 (1):169-184.
    In order to avoid patient abuse, under normal situations before performing a medical intervention on a patient, a physician must obtain informed consent from that patient, where to give genuine informed consent a patient must be competent, understand her condition, her options and their expected risks and benefits, and must expressly consent to one of those options. However, many patients refrain from the option that their physician believes to be best, and many physicians worry that their patients make irrational healthcare (...)
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  13.  5
    On Ageing and Maturing.William Simkulet - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    Räsänen draws a distinction between chronological age and biological age and argues that biological ageing is (sometimes) desirable. To demonstrate this, he asks us to consider the case of April, who like Karel Čapek’s Elina Makropulos, has stopped biologically ageing. Unlike Makropulos, though, April’s biological ageing was halted before puberty, so she will never mature into adulthood. Räsänen contends this case shows ageing can be desirable, but this equivocates between maturing and ageing. Here I argue biological ageing, or the wear (...)
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  14.  35
    The parenthood argument.William Simkulet - 2017 - Bioethics 32 (1):10-15.
    Don Marquis is well known for his future like ours theory, according to which the killing beings like us is seriously morally wrong because it deprives us of a future we can value. According to Marquis, human fetuses possess a future they can come to value, and thus according to FLO have a right to life. Recently Mark Brown has argued that even if FLO shows fetuses have a right to life, it fails to show that fetuses have a right (...)
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  15.  9
    On legal age change.William Simkulet - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (7):469-470.
    Joona Räsänen argues some people have a right to change their legal age to prevent age discrimination. He proposes two prerequisites—the person feels his age differs from his legal age, and that person’s biological age differs from his chronological age. I argue we can achieve the same protections from ageism through restricting access to one’s birth date. I review several moral reasons in favour of changing one’s legal age, concluding the enterprise is folly.
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  16.  17
    Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, the Non-Identity Problem, and Genetic Parenthood.William Simkulet - 2021 - Asian Bioethics Review 13 (3):317-334.
    Mitochondrial replacement techniques are designed to allow couples to have children without passing on mitochondrial diseases. Recently, Giulia Cavaliere and César Palacios-González argued that prospective parents have the right to use MRTs to pursue genetic relatedness, such that some same-sex couples and/or polygamous triads could use the process to impart genetic relatedness between a child and more of its caregivers. Although MRTs carry medical risks, Cavaliere and Palacios-González contend that because MRTs are identity-affecting, they do not cause harm to an (...)
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  17.  21
    The Moral Significance of Abortion Inconsistency Arguments.William Simkulet - 2021 - Asian Bioethics Review 14 (1):41-56.
    Most opponents of abortion (OA) believe fetuses matter. Critics argue that OA act inconsistently with regards to fetal life, seeking to restrict access to induced abortion, but largely ignoring spontaneous abortion and the creation of surplus embryos by IVF. Nicholas Colgrove, Bruce Blackshaw, and Daniel Rodger call such arguments inconsistency arguments and contend they do not matter. They present three objections to these arguments — the other beliefs, other actions, and hypocrisy objection. Previously, I argued these objections fail and threaten (...)
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  18.  77
    Abortion, Property, and Liberty.William Simkulet - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (4):373-383.
    In “Abortion and Ownership” John Martin Fischer argues that in Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist case you have a moral obligation not to unplug yourself from the violinist. Fischer comes to this conclusion by comparing the case with Joel Feinberg’s cabin case, in which he contends a stranger is justified in using your cabin to stay alive. I argue that the relevant difference between these cases is that while the stranger’s right to life trumps your right to property in the cabin (...)
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  19.  19
    The Cohen problem of informed consent.William Simkulet - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9):617-622.
    To avoid potential abuse and respect patient autonomy, physicians have a moral obligation to obtain informed consent before performing any significant medical intervention. To give informed consent, a patient must be competent, understand her condition, options and their expected risks and benefits and must freely and expressly consent to one of those options. Shlomo Cohen challenges this conception of informed consent by constructing cases based on Edmund Gettier’s classic counterexamples to traditional theories of knowledge. In this paper, I argue Cohen-style (...)
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  20.  13
    Lucky Assassins: On Luck and Moral Responsibility.William Simkulet - 2014 - Lyceum 13 (1).
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  21.  11
    Autonomy as Free Will.William Simkulet - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (4):71-72.
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  22.  14
    Ectogenesis rescue case: a reply to Hendricks.William Simkulet - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    Hendricks set out to construct an antiabortion version of Jeff McMahan’s Embryo Rescue case in which you have two choices—(1) save a woman from an unwilling pregnancy or (2) save a fetus from being killed. In his Pregnancy Rescue case, he contends we ought to choose (2), which he thinks shows abortion is immoral. However, I argue the Pregnancy Rescue case is a false dilemma because you can save both. I propose an alternative, more elegant dilemma, the Ectogenesis Rescue case (...)
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  23.  13
    Reasonable Default in Organ Donation Policy.William Simkulet - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (4):236-238.
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  24.  5
    What’s Wrong with Restrictivism?William M. Simkulet - forthcoming - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics:1-4.
    Emily Carroll and Parker Crutchfield propose a new inconsistency argument against abortion restrictivism. In response, I raised several objections to their argument. Recently Carroll and Crutchfield have replied and seem to be under the impression that I’m a restrictivist. This is puzzling, since my criticism of their view included a very thinly veiled, but purposely more charitable, anti-restrictivist inconsistency argument. In this response, I explain how Carroll and Crutchfield mischaracterize my position and that of the restrictivist.
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  25.  10
    Deception in medicine: acupuncturist cases.William Simkulet - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (11):781-782.
    Colgrove challenges Doug Hardman’s account of deception in medicine. Hardman contends physicians can unintentionally deceive their patients, illustrating this by way of an acupuncturist who believes what she says despite insufficient medical evidence, falling short of what Hardman believes adequate disclosure requires. Colgrove argues deception requires intent but constructs an alternative case in which an acupuncturist does not believe what he tells the patient, but purportedly lacks an intent to deceive. Here, I argue that both acupuncturists deceive, and both can (...)
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  26.  23
    The Deontic Cycling Problem.William Simkulet - 2014 - Philosophical Analysis 31:49-64.
    In his recent article “Deontic Cycling and the Structure of Commonsense Morality,” Tim Willenken argues that commonsense ethics allows for rational agents having both ranked reasons (A > B, B > C, and A > C) and cyclical reasons (A < B, B < C, and A > C). His goal is to show that not all plausible views are variations of consequentialism, as consequentialism requires ranked reasons. Here I argue apparent instances of deontic cycling in commonsense morality are the (...)
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  27.  31
    On Derivative Moral Responsibility and the Epistemic Connection Required for Moral Responsibility.William Simkulet - 2015 - Kilikya Felsefe Dergisi / Cilicia Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):61-75.
    Derivative moral responsibility is not moral responsibility at all. Much of the confusion found in the literature concerning moral responsibility and the free will problem can be traced back to a penchant to reconcile our philosophical theories of moral responsibility with our folk commonsense linguistic accounts of moral responsibility, a tradition that is notable for its utter lack of making two important distinctions - the distinction between derivative moral responsibility and non-derivative moral responsibility and the distinction between the scope and (...)
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  28.  23
    On Robust Alternate Possibilities and the Tax Evasion Case.William Simkulet - 2015 - Southwest Philosophy Review 31 (1):101-107.
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  29.  46
    Abortion, Rights, and Cabin Cases.William Simkulet - 2022 - The New Bioethics 28 (4):315-326.
    Many people believe the morality of abortion stands or falls on the moral status of the fetus, with abortion opponents arguing fetuses are persons with a right to life. Judith Jarvis Thomson bypasses this debate, arguing that even if we assume fetuses have a right to life, this is not a right to use other people’s bodies. Recently Perry Hendricks attempts to bypass discussion of rights, assuming that if he can show that some people have a right to use other’s (...)
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  30.  12
    Three Problems with the Impairment Argument.William Simkulet - 2022 - Asian Bioethics Review 15 (2):169-179.
    In his recent article “Even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is immoral: The Impairment Argument,” Perry Hendricks sets out to sidestep thorny metaphysical questions regarding human fetuses and present a new argument against abortion – if impairing a fetus with fetal alcohol syndrome is immoral, then killing the fetus is immoral. Hendricks takes inspiration from Judith Jarvis Thomson’s defense of abortion – that even if fetuses are persons with a right to life, the right to life is (...)
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  31.  10
    Ectogenesis and the Violinist.William Simkulet - 2023 - Diametros 19 (75):37-47.
    Michal Pruski and Richard C. Playford argue that if partial ectogenesis technology becomes available then it would undermine Judith Jarvis Thomson’s defense of abortion. Thomson argues that even if a fetus has a right to life, this is not a positive right to be given whatever one needs to survive; it is not a right to use the mother’s body or to risk her life without her permission. Pruski and Playford argue that when the risks involved in ectogenesis are comparable (...)
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  32.  27
    Public health, induced abortion, and spontaneous abortion.William Simkulet - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (9):910-915.
    Bruce P. Blackshaw and Daniel Rodger contend that if we assume fetuses are persons, then abortion is a public health crisis that justifies overriding a gestational mother's rights and compelling her to carry the fetus to term, but dawdle addressing greater public health crises like spontaneous abortion and hunger. They draw a distinction between deliberate and indeliberate harm to justify restricting rights in the former, but not the latter; but such distinction fails to justify restricting rights in most public health (...)
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  33.  14
    At odds with the truth.William Simkulet - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (8):548-550.
    > The bullshitter may not deceive us, or even intend to do so, either about the facts or about what he takes the facts to be. What he does necessarily attempt to deceive us about is his enterprise. His only indispensably distinctive characteristic is that in a certain way he misrepresents what he is up to. 1 - Harry Frankfurt In both lying and truth-telling, the speaker intends the audience to believe what she says is true; that her enterprise is (...)
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  34.  5
    Alternate Possibilities and the Avoidability of Blame.William Simkulet - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (2):213-232.
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  35.  39
    David Boonin, Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions , 411 pp. ISBN: 9780521149808.William Simkulet - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (6):796-798.
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  36.  50
    Essays on the History of Ethics by Michael Slote (review).William Simkulet - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3):500-501.
    In this book Michael Slote discusses the history of ethics from a sentimentalist perspective. It can be read in two ways: first, as a tribute to great thinkers whose contributions have helped shape contemporary ethics, and second, as a defense of a sentimentalist virtue theory. This review centers on the two chapters most relevant to sentimentalist virtue theory: chapter 1, in which Slote defines and defends elevationism, and chapter 5, in which he offers a defense of sentimentalism. The first essay (...)
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  37.  8
    Genetic parenthood and hard cases.William Simkulet - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (7):680-687.
    Bioethics, Volume 35, Issue 7, Page 680-687, September 2021.
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  38.  9
    Harry J. Gensler , Ethics and the Golden Rule . Reviewed by.William Simkulet - 2014 - Philosophy in Review 34 (5):225-226.
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  39.  17
    Identity Consistency and Medical Interventions.William Simkulet - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (3):180-182.
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  40.  23
    Ishtiyaque Haji , Reason's Debt to Freedom: Normative Appraisals, Reasons, and Free Will . Reviewed by.William Simkulet - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (5):381-383.
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  41.  3
    Island Universe Problems.William Simkulet - 2015 - Praxis 4 (1).
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  42.  15
    Moral and Professional Accountability for Clinical Ethics Consultants.William Simkulet - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (6):50-51.
  43.  12
    On Diminished Moral Responsibility.William Simkulet - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (4):204-205.
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  44.  1
    Trolley cases and autonomy violation.William Simkulet - 2013 - Kairos 7:35-48.
    info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion.
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  45.  7
    The IEC/N-IEC Distinction and Changing Moral Attitudes.William Simkulet - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 5 (1):44-46.
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  46.  21
    Under the Veil.William Simkulet - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (8):27-28.
  47.  19
    What Moral Responsibility Requires.William Simkulet - unknown
    The primary goal of this dissertation is to articulate and defend a robust commonsense libertarian theory of moral responsibility; that moral agents are the causes, and owners, of their actions, and in virtue of this it is appropriate to hold them praiseworthy or blameworthy for what they do. Here, I critique and defend two commonsense principles concerning moral responsibility - the control principle, and the principle of alternate possibilities. In recent years these principles have come under attack from philosophers seeking (...)
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  48.  37
    "Action, Ethics, and Responsibility," edited by Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein. [REVIEW]William Simkulet - 2013 - Teaching Philosophy 36 (2):200-204.
  49.  30
    BernardBerofsky, Nature's Challenge to Free Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). 280, price £37.50 hb. [REVIEW]William Simkulet - 2013 - Philosophical Investigations 36 (2):185-188.
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  50.  7
    Jennifer A. McMahon, Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant's Pragmatist Legacy, London/New York: Routledge, 2013, 250 pp., $145.00 , ISBN: 9780415504522. [REVIEW]William Simkulet - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):475-477.
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