Ronald Dworkin’s Views on Abortion

F.M. Kamm

in Bioethical Prescriptions

Published in print December 2013 | ISBN: 9780199971985
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199346141 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

Ronald Dworkin’s Views on Abortion

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This chapter examines Ronald Dworkin's position on abortion presented in his Life's Dominion. Here Dworkin discusses the nature of the intrinsic value of life, the nature of inviolability, the badness of death, and how these relate to the permissibility of abortion. Dworkin believes that newborn infants should be treated as persons from a moral and legal point of view, even though they are not self-conscious and the latter characteristic may be a requirement for being a person from the philosophical point of view. The chapter describes an alternative to Dworkin's views that involves both philosophical (vs. religious) disagreement on the value of the early fetus and agreement that it is not a person.

Keywords: Life's Dominion; life; inviolability; death; permissibility; newborn infants

Chapter.  10065 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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