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PHLA11H3 Lecture Notes - Argument From Analogy, Fetus

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Kelin Emmett

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Ethics - Tutorial #8.
imprecise papers
abortion is morally impermissible
a fetus is a person
does not affect Thomson’s argument
a fetus has a right to life
states that people who accept the conclusion
making a mistake
grants that “if a fetus is a person, then it has a right to life”
force of the argument
argument does not hang on showing that the premises are false
analogy between the pregnancy and the human-life support system
the relevant person
in the pregnancy, it’s the fetus
human-life support system, the violinist
what is the relevant action
aborting the fetus
aborting the violinist
where that is taking the violinist off the life-support system
where that system is you, a living human being
what is going on in the pregnancy case
what’s the verdict
is the action morally impermissible
yes, violinist and fetus are persons
persons have rights to life
no, on the violinist case
you cannot reason from those facts alone
(premises granted by Thomson)
things to hold
need such precision
details to show that argument works
write out an easy to read graph
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