Some mental events are conscious, some are unconscious. What is the difference between the two? Uriah Kriegel offers an answer. His aim is a comprehensive theory of the features that all and only conscious mental events have. The key idea is that consciousness arises when self-awareness and world-awareness are integrated in the right way. Conscious mental events differ from unconscious ones in that, whatever else they may represent, they always also represent themselves, and do so in a very specific way. (...) Subjective Consciousness is a fascinating new move forward towards a full understanding of the mind. (shrink)
_Nomadic Subjects_ argues for a new kind of philosophical thinking, one that would include the insights of feminism and abandon the hegemonic mode that is conventionally adopted in high theory. Braidotti's personal, surprising, and lively prose insists on an integration of feminism in mainstream discourse. The essays explore problems that are central to current feminist debates including Western epistemology's relation to the "woman question," feminism and biomedical ethics, European feminism, and how American feminists might relate to European movements.
This book investigates the subjective and objective representations of the world, developing analogies between secondary qualities and indexical thoughts and arguing that subjective representations are ineliminable. Throughout, McGinn brings together historical and contemporary discussions to illuminate old problems in a novel way.
Numbers and other mathematical objects are exceptional in having no locations in space or time or relations of cause and effect. This makes it difficult to account for the possibility of the knowledge of such objects, leading many philosophers to embrace nominalism, the doctrine that there are no such objects, and to embark on ambitious projects for interpreting mathematics so as to preserve the subject while eliminating its objects. This book cuts through a host of technicalities that have obscured previous (...) discussions of these projects, and presents clear, concise accounts of a dozen strategies for nominalistic interpretation of mathematics, thus equipping the reader to evaluate each and to compare different ones. The authors also offer critical discussion, rare in the literature, of the aims and claims of nominalistic interpretation, suggesting that it is significant in a very different way from that usually assumed. (shrink)
In this innovative study of the relationship between persons and their bodies, E. J. Lowe demonstrates the inadequacy of physicalism, even in its mildest, non-reductionist guises, as a basis for a scientifically and philosophically acceptable account of human beings as subjects of experience, thought and action. He defends a substantival theory of the self as an enduring and irreducible entity - a theory which is unashamedly committed to a distinctly non-Cartesian dualism of self and body. Taking up the physicalist challenge (...) to any robust form of psychophysical interactionism, he shows how an attribution of independent causal powers to the mental states of human subjects is perfectly consistent with a thoroughly naturalistic world view. He concludes his study by examining in detail the role which conscious mental states play in the human subject's exercise of its most central capacities for perception, action, thought and self-knowledge. (shrink)
Are mental states "in the head"? Or do they intrinsically involve aspects of the subject's physical and social context? This volume presents a number of essays dealing with the compass of the mind. The contributors broach a range of issues with a commmon view that physical and social magnets do act upon mental states. The approaches that run through these papers make the volume challenging to cognitive psychologists, theorists of artificial intelligence, social theorists, and philosophers.
This book offers a concise survey of basic probability theory from a thoroughly subjective point of view whereby probability is a mode of judgment. Written by one of the greatest figures in the field of probability theory, the book is both a summation and synthesis of a lifetime of wrestling with these problems and issues. After an introduction to basic probability theory, there are chapters on scientific hypothesis-testing, on changing your mind in response to generally uncertain observations, on expectations of (...) the values of random variables, on de Finetti's dissolution of the so-called problem of induction, and on decision theory. (shrink)
Subjective probability plays an increasingly important role in many fields concerned with human cognition and behavior. Yet there have been significant criticisms of the idea that probabilities could actually be represented in the mind. This paper presents and elaborates a view of subjective probability as a kind of sampling propensity associated with internally represented generative models. The resulting view answers to some of the most well known criticisms of subjective probability, and is also supported by empirical work in neuroscience and (...) behavioral psychology. The repercussions of the view for how we conceive of many ordinary instances of subjective probability, and how it relates to more traditional conceptions of subjective probability, are discussed in some detail. (shrink)
Descartes's philosophy has had a considerable influence on the modern conception of the mind, but many think that this influence has been largely negative. The main project of The Subject's Point of View is to argue that discarding certain elements of the Cartesian conception would be much more difficult than critics seem to allow, since it is tied to our understanding of basic notions, including the criteria for what makes someone a person, or one of us. The crucial feature of (...) the Cartesian view defended here is not dualism--which is not adopted--but internalism. Internalism is opposed to the widely accepted externalist thesis, which states that some mental features constitutively depend on certain features of our physical and social environment. In contrast, this book defends the minority internalist view, which holds that the mind is autonomous, and though it is obviously affected by the environment, this influence is merely contingent and does not delimit what is thinkable in principle. Defenders of the externalist view often present their theory as the most thoroughgoing criticism of the Cartesian conception of the mind; Katalin Farkas offers a defence of an uncompromising internalist Cartesian conception. (shrink)
This book explores linguistic and philosophical issues presented by sentences expressing personal taste, such as Roller coasters are fun, or Licorice is tasty. Standard semantic theories explain the meanings of sentences by specifying the conditions under which they are true; here, Peter Lasersohn asks how we can account for sentences that are concerned with matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. He argues that a truth-theoretic semantic theory is appropriate even for sentences like these, but that for such sentences, (...) truth and falsity must be assigned relative to perspectives, rather than absolutely. The book provides a detailed and explicit formal grammar, working out the implications of this conception of truth both for simple sentences and for reports of mental attitude. The semantic analysis is paired with a pragmatic theory explaining what it means to assert a sentence which is true or false only relativistically, and with a speculative account of the functional motivation for a relativized notion of truth. (shrink)
The deduction of categories in the 1781 edition of the Critique of the Pure Reason (A Deduction) has “two sides”—the “objective deduction” and the “subjective deduction”. Kant seems ambivalent about the latter deduction. I treat it as a significant episode of Kant’s thinking about categories that extended from the early 1770s to around 1790. It contains his most detailed answer to the question about the origin of categories that he formulated in the 1772 letter to Marcus Herz. The answer is (...) that categories are generated a priori through a kind of intellectual “epigenesis”. This account leaves unexplained why precisely such and such categories should be generated. While this observation caused Kant to worry about the hypothetical status of the subjective deduction in 1781, he would come to acquiesce in the recognition that the ground of the possibility of categories is itself inscrutable. I call this his “methodological skepticism”. (shrink)
Diana Tietjens Meyers examines the political underpinnings of psychoanalytic feminism, analyzing the relation between the nature of the self and the structure of good societies. She argues that impartial reason--the approach to moral reflection which has dominated 20th-century Anglo-American philosophy--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. ____Subjection and Subjectivity__ is central to feminist thought across a wide range of disciplines.
This classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the genesis and trajectory of the desiring subject from Hegel's formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit to its appropriation by Kojève, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault. Judith Butler plots the French reception of Hegel and the successive challenges waged against his metaphysics and view of the subject, all while revealing ambiguities within his position. The result is a sophisticated reconsideration of the post-Hegelian tradition that (...) has predominated in modern French thought, and her study remains a provocative and timely intervention in contemporary debates over the unconscious, the powers of subjection, and the subject. (shrink)
This innovative volume is an extended intellectual conversation about the ways personal lives are being undone and remade today. Examining the ethnography of the modern subject, this preeminent group of scholars probes the continuity and diversity of modes of personhood across a range of Western and non-Western societies. Contributors consider what happens to individual subjectivity when stable or imagined environments such as nations and communities are transformed or displaced by free trade economics, terrorism, and war; how new information and (...) medical technologies reshape the relation one has to oneself; and which forms of subjectivity and life possibilities are produced against a world in pieces. The transdisciplinary conversation includes anthropologists, historians of science, psychologists, a literary critic, a philosopher, physicians, and an economist. The authors touch on how we think and write about contingency, human agency, and ethics today. (shrink)
This book brings together a group of Judith Butler's philosophical essays written over two decades that elaborate her reflections on the roles of the passions in subject formation through an engagement with Hegel, Kierkegaard, Descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche, Merleau-Ponty, Freud, Irigaray, and Fanon. Drawing on her early work on Hegelian desire and her subsequent reflections on the psychic life of power and the possibility of self-narration, this book considers how passions such as desire, rage, love, and grief are bound up with (...) becoming a subject within specific historical fields of power. Butler shows in different philosophical contexts how the self that seeks to make itself finds itself already affected and formed against its will by social and discursive powers. And yet, agency and action are not necessarily nullified by this primary impingement. Primary sense impressions register this dual situation of being acted on and acting, countering the idea that acting requires one to overcome the situation of being affected by others and the linguistic and social world. This dual structure of sense sheds light on the desire to live, the practice and peril of grieving, embodied resistance, love, and modes of enthrallment and dispossession. Working with theories of embodiment, desire, and relationality in conversation with philosophers as diverse as Hegel, Spinoza, Descartes, Merleau-Ponty, Freud, and Fanon, Butler reanimates and revises her basic propositions concerning the constitution and deconstitution of the subject within fields of power, taking up key issues of gender, sexuality, and race in several analyses. Taken together, these essays track the development of Butler's embodied account of ethical relations. (shrink)
This book explores philosophical themes to do with self and subjectivity from the work of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, best known for the uncategorizable collection of fragmentary writings, published as The Book of Disquiet in 1982, forty-seven years after the author's death.
Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective is the long-awaited third volume of philosophical writings by Donald Davidson, whose influence on philosophy since the 1960s has been deep and broad. Davidson 's first two collections, published by OUP in the early 1980s, are recognized as contemporary classics. His ideas have continued to flow, and now he presents a selection of his best work on knowledge, mind, and language from the last two decades--a rich and rewarding feast for anyone interested in philosophy today, and essential (...) reading for anyone working on these topics. (shrink)
The statement that an important dualism runs throughout sociological literature belongs to what can be called extended “sociological common sense”. In this context, Alfred Schutz’s phenomenology is often used critically as a paradigmatic example of subjectivism, as it supposedly places exclusive emphasis on actors’ “subjective” interpretations, thereby neglecting “objective” social structures such as power relationships. This article proposes that not only do those characterizations have dualistic grounds, but they also disregard the explicit intention of phenomenology to overcome the dualism between (...) subjectivism and objectivism. The various criticisms directed at the Schutzian paradigm will be confronted with an analysis of the phenomenon of power based on Schutz’s theory of the life-world, in particular his theory of relevance. This theoretical perspective will be replenished by reflections on power as a meaning selection, which specifically allow the hiatus of subjectivism and objectivism to be overcome. (shrink)
Being human while trying to scientifically study human nature confronts us with our most vexing problem. Efforts to explicate the human mind are thwarted by our cultural biases and entrenched infirmities; our first-person experiences as practical agents convince us that we have capacities beyond the reach of scientific explanation. What we need to move forward in our understanding of human agency, Paul Sheldon Davies argues, is a reform in the way we study ourselves and a long overdue break with traditional (...) humanist thinking. Davies locates a model for change in the rhetorical strategies employed by Charles Darwin in _On the Origin of Species_. Darwin worked hard to anticipate and diminish the anxieties and biases that his radically historical view of life was bound to provoke. Likewise, Davies draws from the history of science and contemporary psychology and neuroscience to build a framework for the study of human agency that identifies and diminishes outdated and limiting biases. The result is a heady, philosophically wide-ranging argument in favor of recognizing that humans are, like everything else, subjects of the natural world—an acknowledgement that may free us to see the world the way it actually is. (shrink)
This unusually accessible account of recent Anglo-American philosophy focuses on how that philosophy has challenged deeply held notions of subjectivity, mind, and language. The book is designed on a broad canvas in which recent arguments are placed in a historical context (in particular they are related to medieval philosophy and German idealism). The author then explores such topics as mental content, moral realism, realism and antirealism, and the character of subjectivity. Much of the book is devoted to an (...) investigation of Donald Davidson's philosophy, and there is also a sustained critique of the position of Richard Rorty. A final chapter defends the realist position against objections from postmodern thought. As a rigorous and historically sensitive account of recent philosophy, this book should enjoy a wide readership among philosophers of many different persuasions, literary theorists, and social scientists who have been influenced by postmodern thought. (shrink)
_Disputed Subjects_ analyzes some of the assumptions behind the contemporary attraction to rationalistic notions of justice and knowledge and discusses why modernity cannot be emancipatory. The effects of gender relations in constituting modern political ideas and theories of knowledge are explored, while at the same time the author identifies problematic aspects of discourses such as psychoanalysis, postmodernism and feminist theorizing. Flax pays special attention to recurrent difficulties concerning maternity, sexuality and race within feminist theorizing, and she addresses the inadequacies of (...) postmodernist accounts of subjectivity and gender. She analyzes psychoanalysis as a discursive formation to identify its particular organization of knowledge and power. (shrink)
There is presently a debate between Subjectivists and Objectivists about moral wrongness. Subjectivism is the view that the moral status of our actions, whether they are morally wrong or not, is grounded in our subjective circumstances – either our beliefs about, or our evidence concerning, the world around us. Objectivism, on the other hand, is the view that the moral status of our actions is grounded in our objective circumstances – all those facts other than those which comprise our subjective (...) circumstances. A third view, Ecumenism, has it that the moral status of our actions is grounded both in our subjective and our objective circumstances. After outlining and evaluating the various arguments both against Subjectivism and against Objectivism, this Element offers a tentative defense of Objectivism about moral wrongness. (shrink)
The question of modernity has provoked a vigorous debate in the work of thinkers from Hegel to Habermas. Our own self-styled postmodern age has seen no end to this debate, which now receives a major and wide-ranging intervention from the theorist and critic Anthony J. Cascardi. Offering an historical account of the origins and transformations of the rational subject or self as it is represented in Descartes, Cervantes, Pascal, Hobbes and the Don Juan myth, he carries his argument across the (...) fields of epistemology, literature, political science, religion and psychology. The modern subject proves to be positioned within conflicting discourses, in a culture characterised by its 'detotalised totality'. Max Weber's concept of 'world disenchantment' enables Cascardi to make a searching critique of modernity's sense of its absoluteness, divorced from an archaic, 'enchanted' world. He advocates in its place a more fruitful relationship between historical analysis and theoretical speculation, offering constructive new alternatives to current orthodoxy regarding subjectivity and modernity. (shrink)
How should we deal with mental disorder - as an "illness" like diabetes or bronchitis, as a "problem in living", or what? This book seeks to answer such questions by going to their roots, in philosophical questions about the nature of the human mind, the ways in which it can be understood, and about the nature and aims of scientific medicine. The controversy over the nature of mental disorder and the appropriateness of the "medical model" is not just an abstract (...) theoretical debate: it has a bearing on very practical issues of appropriate treatment, as well as on psychiatric ethics and law. A major contention of this book is that these questions are ultimately philosophical in character: they can be resolved only if we abandon some widespread philosophical assumptions about the "mind" and the "body", and about what it means for medicine to be "scientific". The "phenomenological" approach of the twentieth-century French philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty is used to question these assumptions. His conception of human beings as "body-subjects" is argued to provide a more illuminating way of thinking about mental disorder and the ways in which it can be understood and treated. The conditions we conventionally call "mental disorders" are, it is argued, not a homogeneous group: the standard interpretation of the medical model fits some more readily than others. The core mental disorders, however, are best regarded as disturbed ways of being in the world, which cause unhappiness because of deviation from "human" rather than straightforwardly "biological" norms. That is, they are problems in how we experience the world and especially other people, rather than in physiological functioning - even though the nature of our experience cannot ultimately be separated from the ways in which our bodies function. This analysis is applied within the book both to issues in clinical treatment and to the special ethical and legal questions of psychiatry. Written by a well known philosopher in an accessible and clear style, this book should be of interest to a wide range of readers, from psychiatrists to social workers, lawyers, ethicists, philosophers and anyone with an interest in mental health. (shrink)
There has been a tendency in some of the most influential recent interpretations of Hegel to downplay the theological characterizations that Hegel gives to the subject-matter of logic, and to emphasize, instead, certain continuities taken to exist between Hegel’s conception of logic and that of Kant. In the work of Robert Pippin and others, this has led to an ‘apperception’-oriented interpretation of Hegel’s logic, according to which Hegel follows Kant in taking logic to be primarily concerned with the nature of (...) human self-conscious subjectivity. Here I put pressure on this interpretation—first, by foregrounding textual and systematic evidence for taking the theological characterizations to accurately convey Hegel’s considered position on logic, as the science of the ‘absolute idea’, and then, secondly, by showing how Hegel’s arguments for the absolute formality and universality of logic point instead to a more fully-fledged rejection of Kant’s conception as too specifically psychological. (shrink)
Who Comes After the Subject offers the most comprehensive overview to date of contemporary French thinking on the question of the "subject." Nineteen philosophers and critics offer diverse perspectives on the subject as it has manifested itself in our modern discourses: the subject of philosophy, of the State, of history, of psychoanalysis. Each contribution asks What has become of the subject? or What has the subject become? in the wake of its critiques and deconstructions .
The Hermeneutics of the Subject is the third volume in the collection of Michel Foucault's lectures at the College de France, one of the world's most prestigious institutions. Faculty at the college give public lectures, in which they can present works-in-progress on any subject of their choosing. Foucault's were more speculative and free-ranging than the arguments of such groundbreaking works as The History of Sexuality or Madness and Civilization . In the lectures comprising this volume, Foucault focuses upon the ways (...) the "self" and consequently "self-study" have been conceived since the days of antiquity, starting with Socrates. Definitions and conceptions of "self-study" in Greek and Roman literature, Foucault argues, remain in force today, and underlie modern interpretations of the self. Engaging, engrossing, and provocative, The Hermeneutics of the Subject reveals Foucault at the height of his powers. (shrink)
A collection of Essays over the last 20 years, exploring different dimensions of the philosophical debate on "subjecthood" and "subjectivity" in Modernity, as it was framed by the "Controversy on the subject" from the 1960's, and showing how it is now continued in a "controversy on the Universal.".
The place of the subjective -- Everything that is of a whole constitutes an obstacle to it insofar as it is included in it -- Action, manor of the subject -- The real is the impasse of formalization : formalization is the locus of the passing-into-force of the real -- Hegel : "the activity of force is essentially activity reacting against itself" -- Subjective and objective -- The subject under the signifiers of the exception -- Of force as disappearance, whose (...) effect is the whole from which it has disappeared -- Deduction of the splitting -- A la nue accablante tu? -- Any subject is a forced exception, which comes in second place -- Jewelry for the sacred of any subtraction of existence -- Lack and destruction -- The new one forbids the new one and presupposes it -- On the side of the true -- There are no class relations -- Every subject crosses a lack of being and a destruction -- The subjects antecedence to itself -- Torsion -- Theory of the subject according to Sophocles, theory of the subject according to Eeschylus -- Of the strands of the knot, knowing only the color -- A materialist reversal of materialism -- The Black sheep of materialism -- The indissoluble salt of truth -- Answering to the sphinx demands from the subject not to have to answer or the sphinx -- Algebra and topology -- Neigborhoods -- Consistency, second name of the real after the cause -- So little ontology -- Subjectivization and subjective process -- The topological opposite of the knot is not the cut-dispersion but the destruction-recomposition -- Subjectivizing anticipation, retroaction of the subjective process -- Hurry! hurry! word of the living! -- The inexistent -- Logic of the excess -- Topics of ethics -- Where? -- The subjective twist : and -- Diagonals of the imaginary -- Schema -- Ethics as the dissipation of the paradoxes of partisanship -- Classical detour -- Love what you will never believe twice. (shrink)
This is the first book in English to elucidate the central issues in the work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a figure crucial to the movement of philosophy from Kant to German idealism. The book explains Fichte's notion of subjectivity and how his particular view developed out of Kant's accounts of theoretical and practical reason. Fichte argued that the subject has a self-positing structure which distinguishes it from a thing or an object. Thus, the subject must be understood as an (...) activity rather than a thing and is self-constituting in a way that an object is not. In the final chapter, Professor Neuhouser considers how this doctrine of the self-positing subject enables us to understand the possibility of the self's autonomy, or self-determination. (shrink)
Bringing together established researchers and emerging scholars alike to discuss new readings of Husserl and to reignite the much needed discussion of what phenomenology actually is and can possibly be about, this volume sets out to critically re-evaluate the predominant interpretations of Husserl’s philosophy, and to adapt phenomenology to the specific philosophical challenges and context of the 21st century. “What is phenomenology?”, Maurice Merleau-Ponty asks at the beginning of his Phenomenology of Perception – and he continues: “It may seem strange (...) that this question still has to be asked half a century after the first works of Husserl. It is, however, far from being resolved.” Even today, more than half a century after Merleau-Ponty’s magnum opus, the answer is in many ways still up for grasp. While it may seem obvious that the main subject of phenomenological inquiry is, in fact, the subject, it is anything but self evident what this precisely implies: Considering the immense variety of different themes and methodological self-revisions found in Husserl’s philosophy – from its Brentanian beginnings to its transcendental re-interpretation and, last but not least, to its ‘crypto-deconstruction’ in the revisions of his early manuscripts and in his later work –, one cannot but acknowledge the fact that ‘the’ subject of phenomenology marks an irreducible plurality of possible subjects. Paying tribute to this irreducible plurality the volume sets out to develop interpretative takes on the phenomenological tradition which transcend both its naive celebration and its brute rejection, to re-articulate the positions of other philosophers within the framework of Husserl’s thought, and to engage in an investigative dialogue between traditionally opposed camps within phenomenology and beyond. (shrink)
This book is a collection of studies on topics related to subjectivity and selfhood in medieval and early modern philosophy. The individual contributions approach the theme from a number of angles varying from cognitive and moral psychology to metaphysics and epistemology. Instead of a complete overview on the historical period, the book provides detailed glimpses into some of the most important figures of the period, such as Augustine, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Hume. The questions addressed include the (...) ethical problems of the location of one's true self and the proper distribution of labour between desire, passion and reason, and the psychological tasks of accounting for subjective experience and self-knowledge and determining different types of self-awareness. (shrink)
The Persistence of Subjectivity examines several approaches to, and critiques of, the core notion in the self-understanding and legitimation of the modern, 'bourgeois' form of life: the free, reflective, self-determining subject. Since it is a relatively recent historical development that human beings think of themselves as individual centers of agency, and that one's entitlement to such a self-determining life is absolutely valuable, the issue at stake also involves the question of the historical location of philosophy. What might it mean (...) to take seriously Hegel's claim that philosophical reflection is always reflection on the historical 'actuality' of its own age? Discussing Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Leo Strauss, Manfred Frank, and John McDowell, Robert Pippin attempts to understand how subjectivity arises in contemporary institutional practices such as medicine, as well as in other contexts such as modernism in the visual arts and in the novels of Marcel Proust. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of (i) what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and (ii) what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who (...) may be uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. -/- . (shrink)
Introduction -- Part one : Challenges to the subject -- Subjects in subjection : bodies, desires, and the psychic life of norms -- Moral subjects and agents of morality -- Part two : Responsibility -- Responsibility as response : Levinas and responsibility for others -- Ambivalent desires of responsibility : Laplanche and psychoanalytic translations -- Part three : Critique -- The aporia of critique and the future of moral philosophy -- Critique and political ethics : justice as a question.
The anthropology of ethics has become an important and fast-growing field in recent years. This book argues that it represents not just a new subfield within anthropology but a conceptual renewal of the discipline as a whole, enabling it to take account of a major dimension of human conduct which social theory has so far failed adequately to address. An ideal introduction for students and researchers in anthropology and related human sciences. • Shows how ethical concepts such as virtue, character, (...) freedom and responsibility may be incorporated into anthropological analysis • Surveys the history of anthropology's engagement with morality • Examines the relevance for anthropology of two major philosophical approaches to moral life. (shrink)
Subjects of ectogenesis—human beings that are developing in artificial wombs (AWs)—share the same moral status as newborns. To demonstrate this, I defend two claims. First, subjects of partial ectogenesis—those that develop in utero for a time before being transferred to AWs—are newborns (in the full sense of the word). Second, subjects of complete ectogenesis—those who develop in AWs entirely—share the same moral status as newborns. To defend the first claim, I rely on Elizabeth Chloe Romanis’s distinctions between fetuses, newborns and (...) subjects of ectogenesis. For Romanis, the subject of partial ectogenesis ‘is neither a fetus nor a baby’ but is, instead, a ‘new product of human reproduction’. In this essay, I begin by, expanding upon Romanis’s argument that subjects of partial ectogenesis are not fetuses while arguing that those subjects are newborns. Next, I show that the distinction that Romanis draws between subjects of partial ectogenesis and newborns needs to be revised. The former is a kind of the latter. This leads us to an argument that shows why different moral statuses cannot be justifiably assigned to subjects of partial ectogenesis and subjects of complete ectogenesis, respectively. As subjects of partial ectogenesis share the same moral status as newborns, it follows that subjects of complete ectogenesis share the same moral status as newborns as well. I conclude by considering implications that this essay may have for the research and development of AW technology and conceptual links between a subject’s moral status and birth. (shrink)