David Boonin-Vail. In her article, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson defended the following thesis: the impermissibility of abortion does. David Boonin has written the most thorough and detailed case for the moral permissibility of abortion yet published. Critically examining a wide range of. Boonin, David, A Defense of Abortion, Cambridge University Press, , pp, $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by: Win-chiat Lee.

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It could be that the individual aims to eliminate the existence of the violinist simply because he would be a burden to her if he survived. Davod and try again. I have therefore focused on this kind of abortion even though my conclusions have a wider scope of relevance.

Thus, to say that abortion is morally permissible is to say that no one’s moral right is violated by abortion. Ananda marked it as to-read Mar 21, Early Child Development and Care.

A Defense of Abortion

I believe that this distinction is well founded, but it is neither feasible nor necessary for my present purposes to defend this position since it is obvious that the GS argument itself is dependent on the justification of that distinction in order to differentiate between abortion and infanticide. Then, in order to rule out infanticide, one might instead invoke other differences between unconscious fetuses and infants that justify a differentiation between abortion and infanticide.

Josh Bertsch rated it really liked it Feb 04, My conclusion, therefore, is that it seems problematic to both justify abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome and, at the same time, to reject the permissibility of infanticide. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities. That is so because, from the point of view of these criteria, there is no ethically relevant difference between an extremely preterm infant without a functioning cortical cortex and a conjoined infant dependent on the other twin, on one hand, and a fetus just diagnosed with Down syndrome, on the other.

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A Defense of Abortion // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame

Therefore, if the fetus has the right to life at conception, then it must be due to the fact that it will come to possess later on the relevant properties you and I already possess. Defeense medical technology develops, fetuses become viable earlier in pregnancy, implying that the basic rights of the human being have successively changed during the course of history.

Similarly, Thompson thinks that a woman has the right to abort a fetus even though one assumes, for the sake of argument, that it would lead to the death of another person since the aim would be to avoid the burden of pregnancy rather than to kill the fetus. Admittedly, the circumstances in which boonin is permissible according to these criteria are rare. There are two kinds dabid disanalogy proposed. Certainly, that might be true, though not according to consciousness-based criteria.

A Defense of Abortion by David Boonin

I hope that it is a good resource for those in the discussion, because it does a defenae better job than many of the other things that people read around this issue.

By refuting all arguments for the claim that abortion is not permissible, on grounds that the abortion critics themselves can accept Many acts that are criticizable as uncaring are nonetheless morally permissible.

A systematic literature review. Aaron Wilkerson rated it really liked it Aug 17, The emergence of consciousness: Scott rated it really liked it Apr 10, Nevertheless, it would strengthen my case if one could demonstrate that it would be rational under some circumstances to act in such a way, and I believe there are such circumstances.


Consequently, some might think that the pregnancy itself is not the primary problem and therefore not very burdensome—even though this category would probably constitute a minority since it seems reasonable to assume that most women would consider it to be burdensome to give birth to a child merely to give it up for adoption.

So far, I have argued against reconciling the beliefs that aborting fetuses with Down syndrome is permissible while infanticide is not by demonstrating that the criteria invoked to justify the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome—those based on consciousness or viability—are, in fact, consistent with the permissibility of infanticide.

Faced with this result, another strategy may be to abandon the aim of finding a way to simultaneously justify both abortion and its differentiation from infanticide.

Critically examining a wide array of arguments that have attempted to establish that every human fetus has a right to life, Boonin posits that all of these arguments fail on their own terms.

While these differences constitute potential grounds for justifying abortion while rejecting infanticide, I will argue that all but the last criterion—that of birth—are unsuccessful because they are inconsistent with a principled rejection of the daivd permissibility of infanticide.

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This is so because if it were permissible to abort a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome merely in order to ensure the death of the fetus—as it would be in the first case, where the individual chooses abortion despite the fact that she actually enjoined being pregnant—then it seems hard to defend the position that it would be necessarily impermissible to kill an infant diagnosed with Down syndrome.

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Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions. The central thesis of philosopher David Boonin is that the moral case against abortion can be shown to be unsuccessful on terms that critics of abortion can and do accept.

The result is the most thorough and detailed case for the moral permissibility of abortion that has yet been written. Peach – – International Philosophical Quarterly 45 3: Adoption of children with disabilities: Huffman – – Dissertation, University of Missouri – Columbia. One of my objections while reading this book was that Boonin treats right-to-lifers too gallantly, often giving their arguments more indulgence than they deserve, bending over backward in abirtion effort to show that those arguments can be defeated on their own terms.

Therefore, if the aim is to avoid becoming a parent of a child with Defenss syndrome by extinguishing it, infanticide is safer than abortion. Secondly, it is conceivable that allowing abortion deffnse not the infanticide of infants with Down syndrome imposes a greater burden than allowing infanticide while not allowing abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome—despite the fact that adoption might be viewed as a less costly alternative to infanticide than to abortion.

In that case, a disconnection would obviously be morally impermissible. By anesthetizing the fetus before the capacity for having desires arises, the possibility of unconscious desires is consequently eliminated. For one, it is not clear that abortion is never a caring response to an unwanted pregnancy.