Abortions and Distortions: An Analysis of Morally Irrelevant Factors in Thomson's Violinist Thought Experiment.
Hershenov (David)
Source: Social Theory & Practice, Jan2001, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p129-148, 20p
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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Certain thought experiments1, analogous in all the morally relevant ways to Judith Thomson's famous violinist scenario, elicit responses contrary to those that she produces in her readers. The former indicate that individuals don't have a right to withhold lifesaving aid. Drawing upon Peter Unger's ideas, an argument is made that there are distortional features at work in Thomson's thought experiment2. These features cut off readers from their deepest moral commitments and, thus, their intuitive reactions to Thomson's scenario should not be trusted. So if aborting3 a person is analogous to disconnecting the violinist, then it too is morally indefensible. Discusses an argument on the abortion4 rights of women. Principle of minimizing harm to innocents; Moral values against abortion5.


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