That’s the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It is adapted from portions of my August 3, 2011 presentation at the University of Colorado symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of Thomson’s article. Here’s an excerpt:
What Thomson is granting, then, is a view of personhood consistent with the pro-life position only insofar as it is aligned with a minimalist understanding of autonomy and choice. That view isolates the individual from other persons – generationally, contemporaneously, and institutionally – except as those relationships arise from the individual’s explicit choice. But that is not the pro-life view of personhood.
For those who are interested, the August 3 symposium went very well. Chaired by David Boonin, the other participants (besides me) were Don Marquis and John Martin Fischer. As I noted in my opening comments that evening, if this panel were the Beatles, I would be Ringo. It was truly an honor for someone with my modest accomplishments to be included with such giants in the discipline.