Journal Club: Killing, Letting Die and the Morality of Abortion

‘The Philosopher’s Eye’ Journal Club will be bringing you top articles for discussion on a regular basis, selected from the prestigious Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy journals. The article will be made free to access for all, and engagement and commentary is encouraged.

This month’s free article is Killing, Letting Die and the Morality of Abortion by Anton Tupa, and was one of the Journal of Applied Philosophy’s most read articles from 2010.

Image: Bill Davenport (2007)
Killing, Letting Die and the Morality of Abortion

ANTON TUPA

abstract David Boonin, in his A Defense of Abortion, argues that abortions that involve killing the foetus are morally permissible, even if granting for the sake of argument that the foetus has a right to life. His primary argument is an argument by analogy to a ‘trolley case’. I offer two lines of counterargument to his argument by analogy. First, I argue that Boonin’s analogy between his trolley case and a normal unwanted pregnancy does not hold. I revise his trolley case in light of my objections. Second, I argue that Boonin’s arguments for the permissibility of killing, when applied to this revised trolley case — and by extension, typical unwanted pregnancies — do not succeed in justifying killing.

Journal of Applied Philosophy

FREE:

The 2010 Blackwell/Brown Lectures in Philosophy

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing and Brown University are pleased to present “Learning from Experience”, three Lectures by Scott Sturgeon, CUF Lecturer in Philosophy, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Wadham College, University of Oxford.

The three public lectures will take place consecutively from  Monday 29th November to Friday 3rd December 2010, as follows:

  • Theories of Visual Input
    Monday, November 29 at 4:00pm
  • Visual Episodes and Perceptual Justification
    Wednesday, December 1 at 4:00pm
  • Basic Epistemic Commitments
    Friday, December 3 at 4:00pm

Location:

All lectures will take place at:

Gerard House
Room 119
54 College Street
Providence, RI 02912

Click here for directions

Previous Blackwell/ Brown lecturers include Philip Pettit (2008), Frank Jackson (2006), Timothy Williamson (2005), John Broome (2003), and Kit Fine (2002), and to mark the occasion Wiley-Blackwell are offering a 20% discount on all titles in the accompanying book series (code: PHC10), valid on their website until 31st December 2010.

Journal Club: Read Top Philosophy Articles for Free

What is Journal Club?

‘The Philosopher’s Eye’ Journal Club will be bringing you top articles for discussion on a regular basis, selected from the prestigious Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy journals. The article will be made free to access for all, and engagement and commentary is encouraged.

This inaugural session of Journal Club opens with a paper from the journal Dialectica, which was nominated one of the ten best papers of 2009 by the Philosophers’ Annual:

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A Tale of Two Vectors

Dialectica

Volume 63, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages: 397–431, Marc Lange

College Sex: Philosophy for Everyone

So what does philosophy have to do with the real world, with things people care about, spend time on, and even obsess over?  What does philosophy have to do with life?

As it turns out, quite a lot. Wiley-Blackwell’s Philosophy For Everyone series are going to introduce the general reader to new ways of thinking about things they’re already interested in.

The above video is a promo for one of the books recently released in August of this year on College Sex. The book examines, among other things, the ethical issues of dating, cheating, courtship, homosexual experimentation, and drug and alcohol use. Intellectually raunchy stuff.

There’s a full list of titles here.

Philosophy For Everyone

Where Philosophy Comes To Life

Welcome to the home of the Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy for Everyone book series!

So what does philosophy have to do with the real world, with things people care about, spend time on, and even obsess over?  What does philosophy have to do with life?

As it turns out, quite a lot, and this series of books will introduce you to a new way of thinking about things you’re already interested in. You can read a book or two in the series to find out how, but in the meantime on this site you will find information, sample content, news, updates, and further resources for the Philosophy for Everyone series.  We’ll let you know about upcoming books in the series, interesting coverage, author events, and anything else that will be of interest to readers.

The Books!

You can find the full list of titles here, and you can order those that are currently or soon to be available here.

Virtual Conference Report: Day Nine (29 Oct, 2009)

Beowulf.firstpageBy Paula Bowles

Today marked the penultimate day of Wiley-Blackwell’s first Virtual Conference. As I am sure you will all agree, thus far, each day has contained many gems, and today has been no different. Eileen Joy’s (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) keynote lecture: ‘Reading Beowulf in the Ruins of Grozny: Pre/modern, Post/human, and the Question of Being‐Together’ looks at the aftermath of the Russian bombing of Chechnya through the lens of Beowulf.

The two final papers of the conference were provided by P. Grady Dixon (Mississippi State University) & Adam J Kalkstein (United States Military Academy) and Nicole Mathieu (CNRS, University of Paris). Their papers respectively entitled: ‘Climate–Suicide Relationships: A Research Problem in Need of Geographic Methods and Cross‐Disciplinary Perspectives’ and ‘Constructing an interdisciplinary concept of sustainable urban milieu’ have looked at indisciplinarity from a geographical and environmental perspective.

The final publishing workshop was ‘How to Survive the Review Process’ by Greg Maney (Hofstra University). Although, the conference is due to end tomorrow it is not too late to register and take advantage of the book discount and free journal access. Each of the papers and podcasts will remain on the website, and it is hoped that you will keep the comments coming in.

Virtual Conference Report: Day Eight (28 Oct, 2009)

Japanese_textbooksBy Paula Bowles

Day eight of the conference was once again marked by some excellent contributions. The first paper ‘Cultural Sociology and Other Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity in the Cultural Sciences’ by Diane Crane (University of Pennsylvania) suggests that for many scholars ‘disciplinary isolation is the norm.’ However, Crane proposes that by utilising what she describes as ‘free‐floating paradigms’ such barriers can be removed.

The second paper of the day by Christine Mallinson, (University of Maryland) entitled ‘Sociolinguistics and Sociology: Current Directions, Future Partnerships also takes sociology and interdisciplinarity as its main themes. Mallinson’s paper concludes with practical advice as to how best to achieve research partnerships.

Together with these exciting papers, Catherine Sanderson (Amherst College) offered advice in her publishing workshop: ‘The Joys and Sorrows of Writing an Undergraduate Textbook.’ There was also an opportunity to spend time in the Second Life cocktail bar with the Compass Team.

Virtual Conference Report: Day Seven (27 Oct, 2009)

By Paula Bowles800px-Three_chiefs_Piegan_p.39_horizontal

The seventh day of the conference has continued with the key themes of ‘breaking down boundaries’ and interdisciplinarity. Roy Baumeister (Florida State University) began the day with his keynote lecture entitled ‘Human Nature and Culture: What is the Human Mind Designed for?’ By utilising the concepts of evolutionary and cultural psychology, Buameister is able to explore the intrinsic significance culture holds for humanity.

Two other papers were also presented today. ‘Text as It Happens: Literary Geography’ by Sheila Hones (University of Tokyo) and Stefan Müller’s (University of Duisburg‐Essen) ‘Equal Representation of Time and Space: Arno Peters’ Universal History.’ These contributions have utilised a wide and diverse range of disciplines including history, cartography, geography and literature.

Finally, Devonya Havis’ publishing workshop entitled ‘Teaching with Compass’ offers some interesting ideas as to how best implement technology within the classroom.