Abortion and the moral significance of merely possible persons : finding middle ground in hard cases


    • Roberts, Melinda A.


Abortion and the moral significance of merely possible persons : finding middle ground in hard cases

Melinda A. Roberts

(Philosophy and medicine, v. 107)

Springer, c2010

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 11



Includes bibliographical references and index



1.1 Goals 1.1.1 I have two main goals in this book. The first is to give an account of the moral significance of merely possible persons - persons who, relative to a particular 1 circumstance, or possible future or world, could but in fact never do exist. I call that account Variabilism. My second goal is to use Variabilism to begin to address the problem of abortion. 1.1.2 We ought to do the best we can for people. And we consider this obligation to extend to people who are, relative to a world, existing or future. But does it extend to merely possible people as well? And, if it does, then does it extend to making things better for them by way of bringing them into existence? If we say that surely it doesn't, does that then mean that our obligation to do the best we can for people does not, after all, extend to the merely possible - that the merely p- sible do not matter morally? But if the merely possible do not matter morally, then doesn't that mean that it would be permissible for us to bring them into miserable existences - and even obligatory to do just that - in the case where bringing the merely possible into miserable existences creates additional wellbeing for existing 1 References to merely possible persons and, later on, to persons who do exist - existing persons


  • Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Goals 1.2 Organization of Book 1.3 Inclusion, Exclusion and a Dilemma 1.4 Variabilism as a Middle Ground 1.5 Variabilism and Abortion 1.6 Thinking Things, Persons and Abortion 1.7 The New Abortion Debate 1.8 Tradeoffs and Abortion 1.9 Abortion and the Law 1.10 A Middle Ground on Abortion? Chapter 2 The Moral Significance of Merely Possible Persons 2.1 Who Matters Morally? 2.2 Preliminaries-A Maximizing Account of Loss
  • the Loss of Never Existing
  • the Loss of Death
  • the Otherwise Plausible Moral Theory 2.3 The Basic Case 2.4 Exclusion Alpha 2.5 Double Wrongful Life 2.6 Addition Plus 2.7 Exclusion Beta 2.8 Inclusion 2.9 Variabilism 2.10 The Neutrality Intuition 2.11 The Prior Existence View 2.12 The Asymmetry 2.13 Summing Up Chapter 3 McMahan's Abortion Paradox 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Pareto Principles 3.3 The Concern with Pareto Plus 3.4 The Abortion Paradox 3.5 McMahan's Solution: Order of Presentation 3.6 An Alternate Solution: Variabilism 3.7 Loss, Variabilism and Pareto Plus 3.8 The Standard Pareto Principle, Pareto Plus and OPMP1 Chapter 4 Three More Arguments Against Early Abortion 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Variabilism and Timing 4.3 The Golden Rule-Hare 4.4 Futures of Value-Marquis 4.5 The Actual Future Principle-Harman 4.6 Distinction Between Variabilism and Its Competitors Chapter 5 A Variabilist Approach to Abortion 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Persons and Existence 5.3 EarlyAbortion 5.4 Late Abortion 5.5 Middle Ground on Abortion Chapter 6 Conclusion

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  • Philosophy and medicine

    D. Reidel , Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada by Kluwer Academic Publishers