A defense of abortion essay

a defense of abortion essay

Persuasive, essay on, abortion, custom Essays, term

However, this does not mean that the person being crushed cannot act in self- defense and attack the child to save his or her own life. To liken this to pregnancy, the mother can be thought to be the house, the fetus the growing-child. In such a case, the mothers life is being threatened, and the fetus is the one who threatens. Because for no reason should the mothers life be threatened, and also for no reason is the fetus threatening it, both are innocent, and thus no third party can intervene. But, Thomson says, the person threatened can intervene, by which justification a mother can rightfully abort. 8 Continuing, Thomson returns to the 'expanding child' example and points out: For what we have to keep in mind is that the mother and the unborn child are not like two tenants in a small house, which has, by unfortunate mistake, been rented. The fact that she does adds to the offensiveness of deducing that the mother can do nothing from the supposition that third parties can do nothing. But it does more than this: it casts a bright light on the supposition that third parties can do nothing.

Custom essay should, abortion, be banned » Custom

"If you do allow him to go on using your kidneys, this is a kindness on your part, and not something he can claim from you as his due." 5 For the same reason, Thomson says, abortion does not violate word the fetus's legitimate right. Thus, by choosing to terminate her pregnancy, thomson concludes that a pregnant woman does not normally violate the fetus's right to life, but merely withdraws its use of her own body, which usually causes the fetus to die. 6 Third-party participation the "expanding child" edit Thomson criticizes the common method of deducing a womans right to abort from the permissibility of a third party committing the abortion. In almost all instances, a womans right to abortion may hinge on the doctors willingness to perform. If the doctor refuses, then the woman is denied her right. To base the womans right on the accordance or refusal of a doctor, she says, is to ignore the mothers full personhood, and subsequently, her rights to her body. Thomson presents the hypothetical example of the 'expanding child suppose you find yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child—you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes youll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand wont be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing hell be hurt, but in the end hell simply burst open the house and walk out a free man. 7 Thomson concedes resume that a third party indeed cannot make the choice to kill either the person being crushed or the child.

Her argument has many critics on both sides of the abortion debate, 1 yet continues to receive defense. 2, thomson's imaginative examples and controversial conclusions have made "A. Defense of, abortion " perhaps "the most widely reprinted essay in all of contemporary philosophy ". 3, contents, overview of the essay edit, the violinist edit, in "A, defense of, abortion thomson grants for the sake of argument that the fetus has a paper right to life, but defends the permissibility of abortion by appeal to a thought experiment : you wake. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the society of Music lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you. 4 Thomson says that you can now permissibly unplug yourself from the violinist even though this will cause his death: this is due to limits on the right to life, which does not include the right to use another person's body, and so by unplugging.

a defense of abortion essay

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If not sharing the dates chocolate is not morally wrong then the older boy cannot have a summary moral obligation to share. Yet, we would still think that he ought to share. This ought is much weaker than a moral obligation. It is desirable (or possibly admirable) that the older brother shares but it is beyond the call of duty. The distinction is familiar in everyday life: we might think that people sometimes ought to forgive each other but we have no right claim to forgiveness. Part 2: Why violinists, people seeds and Chocolate? A defense of, abortion " is a moral philosophy paper by, judith Jarvis Thomson first published in 1971. Granting for the sake of argument that the fetus has a right to life, thomson uses thought experiments to argue that the fetus's right to life does not trump the pregnant woman's right to control her own body and its life-support functions, and that induced.

In the (relevant variation of the) chocolate example the older of two brothers is given chocolate. This chocolate is given only to him,. He is not told to share it with his brother. The younger brother demands some of the chocolate. Thomson wants to claim that the older boy is under no obligation to share the chocolate. More precisely: because the older boy was given the chocolate just for himself the younger boy does not have a right to the chocolate. If he does not have a right, withholding the chocolate is not a violation of a right and if it isnt a violation of a right it is not unjust. If it is not unjust it isnt morally wrong.

Abortion essay - case

a defense of abortion essay

Of, a mother, essay

The "famous violinist" helps Thomson to make this point. The scenario is very much like the famous soccer scenario, we are kidnapped and attached to a famous violinist with a fatal kidney problem, whose survival depends on his staying attached to our circulatory system. The violinist uncontroversially has a right to life (and this may or may not imply that no third party has a right to unplug the violinist) yet, Thomson hopes we would agree, he does not have a right to the use of our body and. While "the famous violinist" is a powerful scenario and tends to elicit the desired response, it is quite limited in scope. It small is plausible to assume that the audience feels they have the right to unplug themselves because they had been kidnapped and attached to this stranger without their consent. Translated to the ethics of abortion, Thomson manages at most to establish that pregnancies resulting from rape can be legitimately terminated.

"People seeds" are the thought experiment employed to consider pregnancies resulting from consensual sex. Here we are asked to imagine living in a world where people seeds fly around; if they get into your house they nest in carpets and upholstery. Because you know of these people seeds you have protective screens in front of your windows. In the heat you sometimes open these windows and very rarely people seeds find holes in the screens and end up in your house. Thomson would assume that people would not consider themselves to be under any obligation to allow these people seeds use of their house for nine months or years (though it would be terribly nice of you to welcome them). So, by analogy, thomson would hold that pregnancies resulting from consensual sexual acts (opening windows in the heat) with faulty contraceptives (holes in the screens) can also be legitimately terminated. Having shown that at least in two cases the foetus right to life does not outweigh the womans right to control over her own body, the chocolate examples aims to show that we might still think that while the woman is under no moral obligation.

The third section consists of an analysis of duty versus requirement. She suggests that because a pregnancy is such a great sacrifice, that, while women should carry a child to term after becoming pregnant, we cannot require them to. This argument also requires that the fetus right to life is subject to the mothers whim and does not carry as much weight as the first two arguments. Thomson concludes the article by saying that she is not attempting to delineate the circumstances in which a pregnancy might be morally permissible and those in which it isnt, but rather to make it clear that even if we consider a fetus to. This weakens her argument a great deal, instead of providing a proscriptive criterion to base the morality of abortion on, she simply provides what may be a series of fringe cases to establish that while). On Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A defence of abortion".


Dagmar Wilhelm, this is a specially written essay. Dagmar Wilhelm who lectures in philosophy at keele University. Part 1: a defence of Abortion. The "famous violinist "people seeds" and the chocolate example are three of a series of thought experiments in philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomsons article ". A defence of abortion ". As the title suggests the article aims to defend abortion at least in some cases. Thomsons approach here is relatively novel. Rather than engaging in the usual debate about the moral status of foetuses (are they the kind of beings that have rights?) she explicitly assumes - "for the sake of the argument" - that foetuses have a right to life but argues that this right.

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Her primary reason for presenting an argument of this nature is that the abortion argument at the time had effectively come to a standstill. The typical anti- abortion argument was based on the idea that a fetus is a person and since killing a person is wrong, abortion is wrong. The pro- abortion adopts the opposite view: namely, that a fetus is not a person and is thus not entitled to the rights of people and so killing it couldnt possibly be wrong. Thomsons argument is presented in three components. The first section deals with the now famous violinist thought show more content, the thought experiment here suggests that children occur as people-seeds that root in furniture and upholstery. She argues that you should not have to take all possible precautions against these literature pregnancies occurring by have a home bare of all carpeting, furniture and upholstery, but rather that taking reasonable precautions such as screens or filters is sufficient. In the case of abortion, this analogy is meant to extend the potential moral permissibility of abortion primarily to pregnancies that have occurred where contraceptive methods have failed.

a defense of abortion essay

She will die if your she gives birth. Sacrificing the mother or the child? In this case the mother should act in accordance with good will and give birth to her child, even if it means risking her life. Therefore, even with the mother risking her life we are moving with a single conclusion; mother should give birth. Last but not least, she talks about fetus being a human being. Even though this seems. Show More, in a, defense of, abortion (Cahn and Markie judith Thomson presents an argument that abortion can be morally permissible even if the fetus is considered to be a person.

should be relevant here. As Kant suggests, what determines an action's morality is the will behind. In order to perform the right action, one must have a good will. The good will here would be giving birth. However, this is a coin with two sides. What about mother's life?

To show more content, however, margaret you have an emotional attachment to your baby. Furthermore, you do not have the responsibility of looking after the violinist. Yet, it is your duty to look after your baby. As Kant suggests, if you act according to your duty, you will be acting morally. Therefore, when you look after your child you are doing the right thing. Remember the distinction between good and right is huge. Doing the right thing might cause bad things, or vice versa.

Abortion - pro life - new Republic - pro-choice

A, defense of, abortion, in her argument on abortion, judith Thomson discusses some major points about abortion. She deals with extreme cases and those extreme cases help real us to realize a single perspective of abortion. For example, she talks about the violinist attached to you. In that example, you keep everything constant and focus on a single point, violinist being dead if you unattached him. This way of thinking would provide partial answers. That is, in real life moral issues are combined of different extreme cases. This is where the flaw in her argument. Her argument misses out the fact that such extreme cases do not occur alone. They occur in interconnection with other extreme cases.


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  1. Abortion, judith jarvis thomson. Thomsons (T) imaginative examples and controversial conclusions have made. Abortion perhaps the most widely reprinted essay in all of contemporary philosophy. Overview of the essay, the violinist. In a, defense of Abortion, thomson grants for the sake of argument that the fetus has a right to life, but defends the permissibility of abortion by appeal to a thought experiment.

  2. Judith Jarvis Thomson:. If she voluntarily called it into existence, how can she now kill it, even in self- defense? Free, essay : In a, defense. Abortion (Cahn and Markie judith Thomson presents an argument that abortion can be morally permissible even if the fetus. On Judith Jarvis Thomson s a defence of abortion dagmar Wilhelm. This is a specially written essay by dagmar Wilhelm who lectures in philosophy at keele University.

  3. Free, essay : Judith Jarvis Thomson: a, defense. Abortion, critical exposition the goal of Judith Jarvis Thomson in her defense of abortion is to sway the. Free, essay :. Abortion, in her argument on abortion, judith Thomson discusses some major points about abortion. She deals with extreme cases and.

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