Bun or bump?
Finn (Suki)
Source: Aeon, 27 July, 2017
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryBooks / Papers Citing this PaperNotes Citing this Paper


Notes

  1. This is an important paper from the perspective of personal identity, and is something I intend to write on extensively1.
  2. Philosophical questions2 about pregnancy include that of the title of this Paper:
    1. Is there a baby growing inside the mother – a bun in the oven – or is the “growing thing” a baby-part of the mother.
    2. Does the mother eat for two, or is there just one slightly larger thing being fed?
    3. Does the mother have complete autonomy over her body, so that it’s her choice to abort her baby-part?
  3. Even though considerable progress has been made in the reproductive sciences, these remain philosophical questions.
  4. In what follows, Finn will use the term “foetus3” for whatever the mother is pregnant with from conception to birth4. The discussion will include all placental mammals – so including hippos but not kangaroos.
  5. This paper is interested in the maternal organism but not the paternal organism, important though he might be.
  6. So, there are two obvious models for the relation between the maternal organism and the foetus5:-
    1. The Parthood Model: the foetus6 is part of the maternal organism, just like the maternal organism’s organs or limbs.
    2. The Container Model: the foetus7 is a distinct organism in its own right which is carried by the maternal organism.
  7. Questions:
    • Which model is correct?
    • Does it change during pregnancy?
  8. Claims:
    • This isn’t a matter of choice or language. There is a fact of the matter to be discovered.
    • The metaphysical relation between the maternal organism and the foetus8 has profound moral and legal implications for our practices during pregnancy.
  9. Finn cites "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?", “forthcoming9” in Mind, as defending the parthood model. This is that the foetus10 is a proper part11 of the maternal organism, like any other organ or limb.

Comment:



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Footnote 2: Footnote 4: Footnote 9: Footnote 11:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



© Theo Todman, June 2007 - July 2018. Please address any comments on this page to theo@theotodman.com. File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page