Young Human Beings: Metaphysics and Ethics
Gillett (Grant)
Source: Oderberg & Laing - Human lives : critical essays on consequentialist bioethics, 1997
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. This paper explores the claims and commitments of consequentialism, especially its counterintuitive claim that our beliefs concerning the special regard we should show human infants are mistaken.
  2. For instance, preference utilitarianism would countenance heinous behaviour such as child abuse, in certain circumstances.
  3. The flaw in consequentialism is located in certain of its commitments, such as Humean reductionism1, i.e., the claim that morality is based on the passions rather than the discerning of real factual similarities and differences between cases.
  4. Another is methodological individualism, which ignores the relational nature of our attachments to one another.
  5. An alternative view is outlined, which places care and nurture at the core of our attitudes to young human lives.

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