Why Even A Painless Death is Harmful to Animals

Introduction Even among supporters of animal rights, there is a common belief that death per se is not harmful to non-human animals. That is, it is morally permissible to kill an animal so long as you do so in a relatively painless way. On this view, while animals are harmed thought experiencing conscious suffering, theyContinue reading “Why Even A Painless Death is Harmful to Animals”

Psychological Connections and the Future-Like-Ours Argument

Introduction In my last post, I offered an detailed case for the pro-choice view. One important pro-life argument I covered was Don Marquis’ future-like-ours argument. The basic idea is that since the typical fetus has a conscious future full of rich memories and experiences, killing the fetus through abortion robs them of this future. ThisContinue reading “Psychological Connections and the Future-Like-Ours Argument”

Why a Liberal View on Abortion Is Correct

Introduction Abortion is one of the most controversial ethical disputes in both moral philosophy and everyday life. On the one hand, pro-life advocates insist that most if not all abortions involve the unjust killing of an innocent person and should thus be illegal. Call this the “conservative” view. On the other hand, pro-choice advocates believeContinue reading “Why a Liberal View on Abortion Is Correct”

The Analogical Argument For Animal Rights

Alastair Norcross, a philosopher from x University, presented an influential analogy relating to animal rights in his paper Puppies, Pigs, and People. In the paper, Norcross paints a colorful picture of a man named Fred inflicting horrific suffering on cute little puppies in order to preserve his ability to enjoy the taste of chocolate. Everyone,Continue reading “The Analogical Argument For Animal Rights”

The Core Argument for Animal Rights

Mark Rowlands, a famous and well-respected animals rights philosopher, has crafted a succinct argument in favor of attributing moral rights to non-human animals. The argument runs as follows: (1). Animals count morally. They count morally because they have interests that matter – consciously – to them. Animals can suffer or enjoy the things that happenContinue reading “The Core Argument for Animal Rights”

Two Thought Experiments Against the Pro-life View

Introduction Almost all pro-life advocates hold that human species membership is sufficient for personhood. Zygotes, embryos, fetuses, 5 year olds, 20 year olds, and 80 year olds, are all equal in dignity and moral value by virtue of belonging to the human species. However, thought experiments can tease out the extremely counter-intuitive nature of thisContinue reading “Two Thought Experiments Against the Pro-life View”

Defending a Psychological Basis For Personhood

Introduction Psychological theories of personhood ground moral status in the possession of mental states and conscious experience. On my preferred theory, a person is a being with thoughts and feelings that are experienced in a psychologically continuous way. Of the numerous objections launched against psychological theories of personhood by pro-life advocates, three stick out asContinue reading “Defending a Psychological Basis For Personhood”

A Psychological Basis For Personhood

Introduction Disputes around personhood form one of the most important disagreements when it comes to abortion ethics. Pro-life advocates insist that abortion involves the killing of an innocent person, a being with significant moral status and rights, while pro-choice advocates tend to reject this assumption. This post will argue that pro-choice advocates are right toContinue reading “A Psychological Basis For Personhood”

Identity Over Time and The Ethics of Abortion

Introduction There is a well-known philosophical argument against abortion that focuses on the identity of the embryo and fetus over time. Alex Pruss presents a prototypical example of this kind of argument in his paper I Was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong. The argument can be summarized as follows: Every bornContinue reading “Identity Over Time and The Ethics of Abortion”

Why Fetal Potential is not Enough

Introduction A common argument for the pro-life position relates to the potential of the fetus. Even if the fetus isn’t presently conscious and self-aware, the argument goes, they nonetheless have the potential for these things. On this view, the mere potential for complex psychological capacities is sufficient for significant moral status and the right toContinue reading “Why Fetal Potential is not Enough”