Journal Article

Abortion and the Argument from Potential: What We Owe to the Ones Who Might Exist

Alberto Giubilini

in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine

Published on behalf of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc.

Volume 37, issue 1, pages 49-59
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0360-5310
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1744-5019 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhr053
Abortion and the Argument from Potential: What We Owe to the Ones Who Might Exist

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy
  • Medical Ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Public Policy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

I challenge the idea that the argument from potential (AFP) represents a valid moral objection to abortion. I consider the form of AFP that was defended by Hare, which holds that abortion is against the interests of the potential person who is prevented from existing. My reply is that AFP, though not unsound by itself, does not apply to the issue of abortion. The reason is that AFP only works in the cases of so-called same number and same people choices, but it falsely presupposes that abortion is such a kind of choice. This refutation of AFP implies that (1) abortion is not only morally permissible but sometimes even morally mandatory and (2) abortion is morally permissible even when the potential person’s life is foreseen to be worth living.

Keywords: abortion; impersonal morality; person-affecting morality; potentiality

Journal Article.  5226 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Medical Ethics ; Bioethics ; Public Policy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.