Patrick Lee Abortion and Unborn Human Life

ISBN 13: 9780813208459

Abortion and Unborn Human Life

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9780813208459: Abortion and Unborn Human Life

Since 1990 WHEN the first edition of Abortion and Unborn Human Life appeared, the debate about the morality of abortion has not subsided. From the standpoint of philosophy many issues have become clearer. Accordingly, Patrick Lee confirms his position that unborn human beings have an equal and inherent dignity and are subjects of basic rights from the moment of fertilization. In a calm and philosophically sophisticated manner, he presents a powerful case for the pro-life position and a serious challenge to all of the main philosophical arguments on behalf of the pro-choice position. Lee's method is strictly philosophical, with special attention given to authors in the broadly analytical school of thought. In this second edition, Lee provides significant updates in view of recent developments.

"Readers looking for a succinct and narrowly defined philosophical argument against abortion will find this book appealing. It is useful as a review of the past several decades of philosophical debate on abortion, and it may help readers understand how lines get drawn in such philosophical debate."

"A very good book on the abortion question. Lee's methods are rigorous and exact, his writing accessibly clear. This book is, therefore, an especially welcome contribution to a field of enquiry in which these two qualities are rarely found in combination."

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From the Publisher:

This book addresses the moral question of abortion: is it ever morally right to procure an abortion, to help procure one, or to perform one? Patrick Lee surveys the main philosophical arguments in favor of the moral permissibility of abortion and refutes them point by point. In a calm and philosophically sophisticated manner, he presents a powerful case for the pro-life position and a serious challenge to all of the main philosophical arguments in behalf of the pro-choice position. Lee's method is strictly philosophical, with special attention given to authors in the broadly analytical school of thought. He contends that what is killed in abortion is indeed an individual human being, that this being is not different from us in any morally significant way, and that, as a result, it can rightly be called a "person." Attempts to argue otherwise are carefully presented and criticized, as are other attempts morally to justify abortion. Lee first sets out the prima facie case against abortion: abortion is wrong because it is the intentional killing of human persons. Then, chapter by chapter, he examines and refutes the main challenges to that argument. In Chapter One he analyzes the argument that abortion is (sometimes) right because what is conceived does not become a person until after birth. Chapter Two examines and criticizes the position that some early abortions are morally right because during gestation the embryo or fetus only gradually acquires moral worth. Chapter Three focuses on the position that in the early stages of pregnancy the embryo is not a human individual. In Chapter Four, Lee examines and criticizes the position of Judith Jarvis Thomson and Francis Kamm--that abortion is not always intentional killing but is sometimes the case of not providing life support and therefore morally justifiable. Chapter Five presents a critique of the consequentialist or utilitarian argument for abortion. Lee's dispassionate examination of the issues, his use of neutral language, and his fair and objective presentation of opposing views recommend this book to all who are interested in the philosophical and moral question of abortion. It will be especially useful as a textbook for seminary and graduate courses in medical ethics and as a supplementary text in undergraduate courses.

Patrick Lee is associate professor of philosophy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. His many articles and reviews have appeared in Faith and Philosophy, The Thomist, Theological Studies, and the Review of Metaphysics

From the Back Cover:

"Readers looking for a succinct and narrowly defined philosophical argument against abortion will find this book appealing. It is useful as a review of the past several decades of philosophical debate on abortion, and it may help readers understand how lines get drawn in such philosophical debate."--Booklist

"A very good book on the abortion question. Lee's methods are rigorous and exact, his writing accessibly clear. This book is, therefore, an especially welcome contribution to a field of enquiry in which these two qualities are rarely found in combination."--Kevin L. Flannery, S.J., Gregorianum

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