The Philosophical Treatments of Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss

The first-ever collection on philosophical treatments of miscarriage and pregnancy loss is also the first entirely Open Access issue of Journal of Social Philosophy. The creation of the Special Issue: Miscarriage, Reproductive Loss, and Fetal Death is motivated by the fact that miscarriage is widely experienced — yet the phenomenon of miscarriage remains shockingly under-theorized. Philosophers have written about abortion and about pregnancy, but until now we could count philosophical works on miscarriage on the fingers of one hand.
Guest-editor Kathryn Norlock first noticed this gap when trying to write about her own experience with miscarriage as it relates to feminist ethics. When she raised the possibility of a philosophical project on the topic to co-editors Ann Cahill and Byron Stoyles, they immediately perceived related concerns, about the significance of death, about the social construction of pregnancy, and about the intersubjectivity of personal identity. All three agreed that they should do something to avoid furthering the social and academic silence surrounding a phenomenon that so many have experienced.
The results of their early reflections were accepted as a panel presentation at the Canadian Society of Women in Philosophy conference in 2012, and the responsive audience members of the panel spilled over with new insights, further applications, and above all, eager requests that the project become a publication. It was clear there was more to say, and there were more perspectives to involve.
The happy results include articles on moral philosophy, the ontology of persons, the role of social media in communicating miscarriage experiences, and the relationship of miscarriage to philosophical questions about abortion and fetal death. All articles will be Open Access, and thanks for that in large part is owed to Trent University in Ontario and the generous support of Trent’s Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics Trust. Readers are invited to comment and share the articles. Let’s all pay more and better attention to miscarriage!

Read the arJournal of Social Philosophy Cover Imageticles on Wiley Online Library here.  As this is an issue entirely published through Open Access publishing, the articles will remain free permanently.

Guest editors: Ann J. Cahill, Kathryn J. Norlock, Byron Stoyles
Table of Contents
Amy Mullin, “Early Pregnancy Losses: Multiple Meanings and Moral Considerations
Ann J. Cahill, “Miscarriage and Intercorporeality
Lindsey Porter, “Miscarriage and Person-Denying
Sarah Clark Miller, “The Moral Meanings of Miscarriage
Alison Reiheld, “The Event That Was Nothing:  Miscarriage as a Liminal Event
Christine Overall, “Rethinking Abortion, Ectogenesis and Fetal Death
Hilde Lindemann, “Miscarriage and the Stories We Live By
Byron Stoyles, “The Value of Pregnancy and the Meaning of Pregnancy Loss
Rebecca Kukla & Sarah Hardy, “Making Miscarriage Online

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