Does Judith Jarvis Thomson Really Grant the Pro-Life View of Fetal Personhood in Her Defense of Abortion?: A Rawlsian Assessment

International Philosophical Quarterly 54 (4):443-451 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In her ground-breaking 1971 article, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that even if one grants to the prolifer her most important premise—that the fetus is a person—the prolifer’s conclusion, the intrinsic wrongness of abortion, does not follow. However, in her 1995 article, “Abortion: Whose Right?,” Thomson employs Rawlsian liberalism to argue that even though the prolifer’s view of fetal personhood is not unreasonable, the prochoice advocate is not unreasonable in rejecting it. Thus, because we should err on the side of liberty, the right to abortion is vindicated. In this article, I argue that Thomson’s latter reliance on Rawlsian thinking suggests a way of re-reading her earlier essay that casts doubt on whether she really grants the dominant prolife account of unborn human life.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,429

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Defusing Thomson's Violinist Analogy.Mathew Lu - 2013 - Human Life Review 39 (1):46-62.
Doubts About a Classic Defence of Abortion.Jo Difford - 2011 - Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 (1):122-129.
Thomson's Violinist and Conjoined Twins.Kenneth Einar Himma - 1999 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (4):428-435.
The Viable Violinist.Michael Hawking - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (4):312-316.
The Viable Violinist.Michael Hawking - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (5):312-316.
Abortion and Ownership.John Martin Fischer - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):275-304.
Innocent Burdens.James Edwin Mahon - 2014 - Washington and Lee Law Review 71.
A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-10-23

Downloads
189 (#65,945)

6 months
7 (#108,240)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references