- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Fetuses1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 04/08/2017 22:52:19): Fetuses
- Fetuses feature a lot in the philosophy of personal identity.
- Are they persons, or merely potential persons, given that they probably fail the conditions for personhood4?
- Was I ever a fetus?
- This latter question is alleged by animalists5 to be a poser for supporters of the psychological view6 (or constitution view7) of personal identity (since fetuses lack psychological connectedness8 to adult persons, and even lack psychological continuity9 on the presumption that early-term fetuses lack all psychological experience).
- But, it’s also alleged as a problem for animalism10, or at least not properly addressed. Was I ever a fetus? If so, what was the relation of the fetus to its mother. Was the mother merely a container, or was the fetus part a proper part of the mother, who thereby fissioned11 on the baby’s birth? See Elselijn Kingma and "Finn (Suki) - Bun or bump?".
- While the impact of the metaphysical status of the fetus has a major bearing on its rights (if any) and on the abortion question, these serious topics aren’t part of the scope of my Thesis, so won’t be addressed except in so far as they make metaphysical claims or assumptions.
- Before addressing all these issues, I need to be clear on what the fetus is. See my notes on Zygotes12 and Embryo13. Basically, a Fetus is a developing but unborn mammal subsequent to implantation and maybe further development. 11 weeks is taken to be the start time in humans.
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Anscombe (G.E.M.) - Embryos and Final Causes", Anscombe
- "Chisholm (Roderick) - Coming Into Being and Passing Away: Can the Metaphysician Help?", Chisholm
- "Engelhardt (H. Tristram) - The Ontology of Abortion", Engelhardt
- "English (Jane) - Abortion and the Concept of a Person", English
- "Flower (Michael J.) - Neuromaturation and the Moral Status of Human Fetal Life", Flower
- "Forrester (Mary) - The Human Fetus: Introduction", Forrester
- "Forrester (Mary) - Should Fetuses be Extended Persons?", Forrester
- "Grobstein (Clifford) - Science and the Unborn: Choosing Human Futures", Grobstein14
- "Hershenov (David) - Abortions and Distortions: An Analysis of Morally Irrelevant Factors in Thomson's Violinist Thought Experiment.", Hershenov
- "Hershenov (David) - Olson's Embryo Problem", Hershenov
- "Jones (D. Gareth) - The Human Embryo: Between Oblivion and Meaningful Life", Jones
- "Kingma (Elselijn) - BUMP: Better Understanding the Metaphysics of Pregnancy (B1)", Kingma
- "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?", Kingma
- "Marquis (Don) - Why Abortion is Immoral", Marquis
- "McInerney (Peter K.) - Does a Fetus Already Have a Future-Like-Ours", McInerney
- "Moreland (J.P.) & Rae (Scott) - The Moral & Metaphysical Status of the Unborn: Abortion and Fetal Research", Moreland+Rae15
- "Morowitz (Harold J.) & Trefil (James) - The Facts of Life: Science and the Abortion Controversy", Morowitz
- "Page (Edgar) - Neonates, Persons and the Right to Life", Page
- "Shoemaker (David) - Embryos, Souls, and the Fourth Dimension", Shoemaker
- "Stone (Jim) - Why Potentiality Matters", Stone
- "Thomson (Judith Jarvis) - A Defense of Abortion", Thomson
- "Tooley (Michael) - Abortion", Tooley
- "Wilkes (Kathleen) - Infants and Foetuses", Wilkes
- This is mostly a place-holder16. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (04/08/2017 22:52:19).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 14: Especially Chapter 6.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
Footnote 15: This may be a bridge too far as Moreland & Rae’s view rests on the existence of Souls.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018