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’s most impressive for its goal of defending abortion using arguments that pro-life folks already accept.

Thomson argues that it would be permissible for you to unplug yourself from the violinist even though this act would lead to the death of the violinist. Want to Read abortlon. In both cases, the proponents of the GS argument assume that human persons are being killed. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Remember that those seeking to abort a fetus with Down davld have initially accepted the defwnse of pregnancy—given that they decide to abort the fetus only after it is found to have Down syndrome.

And since this criterion does not provide a justification for why it would be impermissible to prevent wakefulness through, for example, anesthetization of the fetus, an account based on the criterion of quickening is vulnerable to the same objection as consciousness-based criteria.

The violinist, as the story goes, will need this arrangement for nine months in order to q. A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. To illustrate this point, one might assume that she actually enjoyed being connected to the violinist, but once she realized that the violinist would be a burden to her in the future, she decided to disconnect herself in order to eliminate the existence of the violinist.

I did find the weakness of these accounts of consent at least deserving of a comment. I thought this was the most rational and academic defense of abortion I’ve defennse. Why would a woman choose to deliver an anaesthetized fetus?

I don’t know why Boonin neglects defdnse give this objection, which is a relatively easy one to answer, its own section in the book. Differentiating abortion and infanticide by external criteria So far, I have focused on different ways of trying to justify abortion that do not lead to the conclusion that infanticide might also be permissible.


A Defense of Abortion

The aim of avoiding the burden of being connected is not consequently sufficient for the decision to disconnect herself; without the information about the violinist being a future burden to her, the disconnection would not have taken place. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.

Aidinowsky rated it it was amazing Jul 14, Cambridge University Press Amazon. Equally, there are plausible arguments in favor of the view that fetuses with Down syndrome also have a right to life, which means that permitting their abortion might be gravely wrong. Many ethical dilemmas arise due to our use of new technology.

He then argues that even if the fetus does have a right to life, abortion can still be shown to be morally permissible on the critic of abortion’s own terms. It is argued that, as the woman has no obligation to maintain her life-sustaining treatment, it is permissible to terminate the pregnancy by abortion without violating the rights of the fetus as long as it is non-viablewhile such an action is not available after birth.

Boonin also acknowledges that this can be an aim with abortion; see [ 15p. This criterion is also problematic, however, because differentiating between the fetus and the infant based solely on where they are located seems unjustifiable. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Cambridge University Press; This article is structured as follows. First, I believe that I have demonstrated that criteria based on the existence of consciousness and the criterion of viability are compatible with infanticide.

Nevertheless, several have been proposed in the literature and I think one can categorize them as follows: I know many pro-choice people that couldn’t answer standard pro-life objections.

Still, it was well worth it.

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

Boonin has done a good job in trying booniin defend abortion by taking the arguments of those who are against and build up his own argument from there. Faced boonni this result, another strategy may be to abandon the aim of finding a way to simultaneously justify both abortion and its differentiation from infanticide. Showing of 8 reviews. Certainly, that might be true, though not according to consciousness-based criteria.


Consequently, the GS argument cannot be invoked to justify the permissibility of aborting fetuses with Down syndrome.


While ultimately I disagree with Boonin’s conclusions, I am grateful for his contributions to the abortion debate. Jul 28, Erik Z rated it really liked it Shelves: East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. The philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson applied this analogy to the GS argument when it was introduced in So far, I have focused on different ways of trying to justify abortion that do not lead to the conclusion that infanticide might also be permissible.

Nathaniel marked it as to-read Feb 07, The discussion of “responsibility” objections in Chapter 4 was pretty troubling, as well. My claim is, however, that this attempt savid, as do the other ways under discussion here.

I think ultimately his case fails, but I think he does make many valid points in the book. This organized cortical brain activity criterion is what Boonin endorses in Ch. Life in the balance: The author also takes apart the violinist analogy and explains why it is poor. Third, it seems difficult to identify external criteria—i. Either the justification for abortion is consistent with infanticide, or it is implausible to justify abortion while rejecting infanticide. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

Why should a fetus that is conceived in a rape have fewer rights than a fetus whose parents engage in the intercourse voluntarily cefense do not care to use contraception?

Cambridge University Press; 1 edition November 4, Language: Abstract Although the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome has become commonplace, infanticide is still widely rejected.