<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Hershenov (David) - Explaining the Psychological Appeal of Viability as a Cutoff Point (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21116.htm">Explaining the Psychological Appeal of Viability as a Cutoff Point</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Hershenov (David).htm">Hershenov (David)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly. 6:4, Winter 2006, 681-686</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21116.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><u>Author s Abstract</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>My aim is to explain, or perhaps it is better to say  explain away the appeal of the principle of viability that plays such a prominent role in the Roe v. Wade decision and the ensuing debate. </li><li>My contention is that many defenders of the principle are not actually deeply committed to it. I am not implying that they are in bad faith, knowingly defending a principle that they do not believe in because they want abortion to be legal, just that they are not fully aware of what is really making the principle of viability appealing to them. My suspicion is that it is the timing at which the <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_71.htm">fetus</A><SUP>1</SUP> currently becomes viable and not the actual philosophical merits of the viability principle that makes it so attractive. </li><li>The basis for my claim is that certain <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>2</SUP> - in particular, two that change the timing of the onset of viability  regularly elicit from abortion proponents the admission that the viability principle is without much philosophical merit. Since the earlier adherence to viability was not grounded in any moral principles that pro-choicers feel strongly about, this suggests that other factors were motivating its initial (and superficial) appeal. </li><li>So after familiarizing readers with the <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>3</SUP>, I will offer some brief psychological speculations about why the current timing of the onset of viability makes the principle of viability seem to so many people to be an attractive cutoff point for distinguishing morally justified from unjustified abortions. </li></ol></FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>See <a name="W2676W"></a><A HREF = "http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~dh25/articles/Explaining%20appeal%20of%20Viability.pdf" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>.<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:32" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:32:16</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>