Abortion: Three Perspectives

Hardcover | January 12, 2009

byMichael Tooley, Celia Wolf-Devine, Phillip E. Devine

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The newest addition to the Point/Counterpoint Series, Abortion: Three Perspectives features a debate between four noted philosophers - Michael Tooley, Celia Wolf-Devine, Philip E. Devine, and Alison M. Jaggar - with three different perspectives on abortion: the "liberal" pro-choice approach,the "communitarian" pro-life approach, and the "gender justice" approach. Each of the authors takes a controversial position, and all push their philosophical opinions to their logical limits. All of the views presented are radical, both in the sense of exploring fundamental assumptions and in thesense of diverging from mainstream opinion in America. They do not rely on religious authority; therefore their arguments address all citizens regardless of their religious beliefs. The first "liberal" pro-choice approach is Michael Tooley's. After examining, analyzing, and challenging the most important arguments for a right to life before birth, he holds that abortion is always morally permissible in itself. He argues that it is unreasonable to claim that humanembryos/fetuses either have or develop a right to life before birth.Celia Wolf-Devine and Philip E. Devine, however, take a "communitarian" pro-life position, arguing that the human organism is a person from the point at which it first came to be. They also argue that, because its creators are responsible for its existence, the prospective parents have a moralobligation to care for its life. Finally, Alison Jaggar explores abortion in light of political philosophy and social justice. She argues that women everywhere have a human right to abortion, that abortion rights are necessary for gender equality, and that the availability of abortion is indispensable for pubic health and socialdevelopment. As philosophers, the authors have special skills in critical analysis and thinking systematically about values. Because they do not rely on religious authority, their arguments address all citizens regardless of their religious beliefs. By drawing examples from real life, employing logic,philosophy, and empirical data, and addressing views of abortion from across other disciplines, the authors present a well-informed and up-to-date discussion. Advanced courses in ethics, contemporary moral problems, sex and gender, and bioethics will find this text useful and relevant.

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The newest addition to the Point/Counterpoint Series, Abortion: Three Perspectives features a debate between four noted philosophers - Michael Tooley, Celia Wolf-Devine, Philip E. Devine, and Alison M. Jaggar - with three different perspectives on abortion: the "liberal" pro-choice approach,the "communitarian" pro-life approach, and th...

Michael Tooley is Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder. Celia Wolf-Devine is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Stonehill College. Phillip E. Devine is Professor of Philosophy at Providence College. Alison Jaggar is Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:January 12, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195380274

ISBN - 13:9780195380279

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPart I:Michael Tooley: Abortion: Why a Liberal View is Correct1. Thinking about the Morality of Abortion, and Discussing It with Others2. A Brief Overview of My Defense of a Liberal Position on Abortion3. Abortion and the Appeal to Religious Revelat4. The Appeal to an Immaterial, Rational Mind5. The Appeal to Psychological Capacities6. Two Biological Anti-Abortion Arguments7. Potentiality Arguments against Abortion8. The Identity of Persons and Biological Organisms Argument9. Are Moderate Positions on Abortion Tenable?10. The Moral Status of Abortion: A Final Summing UpCelia Wolf-Devine and Philip E. Devine: Abortion: A Communitarian Pro-Life Perspective1. Where We Are Now2. Methodology3. The Prima Facie Case Against Abortion4. The Status of the Unborn5. The Pregnant Woman6. Questions of Law7. Policy Recommendations8. Role and Limits of Philosophy9. ConclusionAlison M. Jaggar: Abortion Rights and Gender Justice Worldwide: An Essay in Political Philosophy1. Introduction2. Mapping the philosophical terrain3. Liberalism and feminism: two thin commitments of political morality4. Designing just institutions in an unjust world: some methodological commit5. Some principles of political morality salient to abortion in the real world6. Abortion: human rights, gender equality, and the public good7. Objections to abortion rights8. ConclusionPart II:Michael Tooley: Response to Alison M. Jaggar, Celia Wolf-Devine, and Philip E. DevineComments on Alison M. Jaggar's EssayReply to Celia Wolf-Devine and Philip E. Devine1. Species Membership and the Right to Life2. The 'Reductio' Objection, and the 'Change-of-Address' Objection3. Potentialities and the Right to LifeSumming UpCelia Wolf-Devine and Philip E. Devine: Response to Michael Tooley and Alison M. Jaggar1. Response to Tooley2. Response to Jaggar3. A Final WordAlison M. Jaggar: Response to Michael Tooley, Celia Wolf-Devine, and Philip E. Devine1. Methodology2. Political philosophy3. Reality4. Policy5. Sailing under true colorsBibliographyIndex