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Lecture

Lecture notes

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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHLB09H3
Professor
Cathal O Madagain

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PHLB09 2011 Lecture 6
Harris recap
oIn rape, father has no right against mother that she abstain from
abortion:
Because of rape, father has no "morally legitimate interest" in
fetus
oIn casual sex, father has no right against mother that she abstain
from abortion:
Because father "abandoned" sperm, and so has no claim to the
product of the sperm
oIn case 3, mother and father married, mother knows father wants
babies doesn't tall him she doesn't; becomes pregnant, aborts
Mother wrongs father (says Harris) because she violates his
autonomy (negligence)
oIn case 4, mother tells father she wants babies because she thinks he
needs to hear this to stay around; becomes pregnant, aborts
oCase 5: Anne tells Mark explicitly that she wants babies, convinces
him to reorganize his life for them etc.; becomes pregnant, and aborts
Violation of autonomy
oCase 3 & 4: no contract!
oBasic moral imperative: never violate another's autonomy (Kant)
oIt's wrong even if you don't agree to it explicitly
Problems for Property Model
oProblems in Harris's model:
No contractual obligations to carry fetus to term
Can you "abandon" a sperm?
Is the crime violation of autonomy, or abortion?
Harris claims mother has obligation to carry fetus to term
oBut: not impossible to force person to fulfill contract (tantamount to
slavery)
oThe most that could be enforced would be a fine for emotional
damage/financial damage
oUnder these circumstances, the question of morality in late-term
abortion isn't really answered
Can you abandon sperm?
oHarris says once you abandon sperm, you relinquish rights to it, and
responsibilities toward it
oSo biological father can't demand abortion, can't demand birth, but
also has no duties toward offspring*
Laws of abandonment very tricky:
oWhat counts as "abandoning something?
oLeaving it for a long time
oWhat if you come back and say "I always intended to come back"
Also, it's not clear that you relinquish duties toward anything you abandon
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Description
PHLB09 2011 Lecture 6 Harris recap o In rape, father has no right against mother that she abstain from abortion: Because of rape, father has no morally legitimate interest in fetus o In casual sex, father has no right against mother that she abstain from abortion: Because father abandoned sperm, and so has no claim to the product of the sperm o In case 3, mother and father married, mother knows father wants babies doesnt tall him she doesnt; becomes pregnant, aborts Mother wrongs father (says Harris) because she violates his autonomy (negligence) o In case 4, mother tells father she wants babies because she thinks he needs to hear this to stay around; becomes pregnant, aborts o Case 5: Anne tells Mark explicitly that she wants babies, convinces him to reorganize his life for them etc.; becomes pregnant, and aborts Violation of autonomy o Case 3 & 4: no contract! o Basic moral imperative: never violate anothers autonomy (Kant) o Its wrong even if you dont agree to it explicitly Problems for Property Model o Problems in Harriss model: No contractual obligations to carry fetus to term Can you abandon a sperm? Is the crime violation of autonomy, or abortion? Harris claims mother has obligation to carry fetus to term o But: not impossible to force person to fulfill contract (tantamount to slavery) o The most that could be enforced would be a fine for emotional damagefinancial damage o Under these circumstances, the question of morality in late-term abortion isnt really answered Can you abandon sperm? o Harris says once you abandon sperm, you relinquish rights to it, and responsibilities toward it o So biological father cant demand abortion, cant demand birth, but also has no duties toward offspring* Laws of abandonment very tricky: o What counts as abandoning something? o Leaving it for a long time o What if you come back and say I always intended to come back Also, its not clear that you relinquish duties toward anything you abandon www.notesolution.com
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