Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion” at Forty

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, contem … [Read more...]

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August 3 Symposium on the 40th anniversary of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion”

Tomorrow, August 3, I will be at the University of Colorado in Boulder participating in a symposium on the 40th anniversary of Judith Jarvis Thomson article, "A Defense of Abortion," published in 1971 in Philosophy and Public Affairs. (For more on the symposium, go here. It is open to the public.) What makes Thomson's argument so important is that she grants to the prolifer his most pivotal premise, that the pre-born human is a person from conception, but nevertheless concludes that abortion is … [Read more...]

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Defending Abortion Philosophically: A Review of David Boonin’s A Defense of Abortion

That is the title of a 2006 article I published in the Journal of Medicine & Philosophy (31: 177-203).  Here's the abstract, as it appears on the article's first page: This article is a critical review of David Boonin’s book, A Defense of Abortion (Cambridge University Press, 2002), a significant contribution to the literature on this subject and arguably the most important monograph on abortion published in the past twenty years. Boonin’s defense of abortion consists almost exclusively of so … [Read more...]

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Guest post on Life Training Institute blog

I recently entered the fray at the Life Training Institute blog, making a case for prolife incrementalism in response to a comment post by Rebecca Kiessling. My post may be found here. … [Read more...]

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Live Action and Telling Falsehoods

That is the title of  my latest column at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: Over at the website Public Discourse, two outstanding Catholic philosophers, Christopher Tollefsen and Christopher Kaczor, have published essays about the morality of the tactics of the prolife group, Live Action.  Two other Catholic philosophers, Robert P. George and Joseph Bottum have weighed in as well.Live Action recently released a video that included two of its members posing as a pimp and prostitute d … [Read more...]

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Call for Papers: University Faculty for Life Conference at Notre Dame (10-11 June 2011)

I have the honor of serving as program chair for the 21st annual conference of the University Faculty for Life, which will be held at the University of Notre Dame on June 10-11, 2011. The on-campus host is Notre Dame philosophy professor, David Solomon, W.P. and H.B. White Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture, where I served as the Mary Anne Remick Senior Visiting Fellow in 2008-2009.If you are a prolife academic (or retired academic), you should join UFL. The annual … [Read more...]

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Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday, and my modest connection to the Reagan legacy

Today is the 100th birthday of our 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan.Most people are unaware that in 1983 during his first term President Reagan published an article in the Human Life Review, "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation." It was eventually published as a small book a year later with afterwards by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Malcolm Muggeridge. To commemorate the  20th anniversary of the article and subsequent book, in 2004 Human Life Review published a special issue … [Read more...]

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R. C. Sproul on Abortion

Found this over at Justin Taylor's blog, Between Two Worlds. It's worth watching. … [Read more...]

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My review of Abortion: Three Perspectives, by Tooley, Wolf-Devine, Devine, and Jaggar

I recently published this review in the journal Faith &  Philosophy 27.4 (2010): 478-482.  Here's how it begins: It has been nearly four decades since the U.S. Supreme Court held that there is a right to abortion protected by the U.S. Constitution. Yet, the question ofabortion’s moral and legal permissibility, and all the attendant issues about the nature of law, human persons, and morality, continue to be seriously (and sometimes not so seriously) engaged in the public square. Given the meta … [Read more...]

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