TEST 1 REVIEW - Philosophy 304: Contemporary Moral Problems...

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Philosophy 304: Contemporary Moral Problems TEST 1 REVIEW 1) What does Judith Jarvis Thomson find to be mistaken in the conservative position regarding abortion? Describe thoroughly the analogies she uses to make her case. a. Except in such cases as the unborn person has a right to demand it and we are leaving open the possibility that there may be such cases nobody is morally required to make large sacrifices, of health, of all other interests and concerns, of all other duties and commitments for nine years, or even for nine months, in order to keep another person alive. b. Analogy #1: The Famous Violinist [Rape Case] i. The society of music lovers kidnap you and hook you up to a famous violinist, whom without your kidneys for some time period (Thomson describes many here) will surely perish. ii. Possibly akin to rape-induced pregnancy iii. Her logic: because you have a moral right to disconnect this person from you, one has the right to have the abortion c . Analogy #2: The Chocolate Box [Consensual Intercourse] i. Connection between rights and justice. If the boy won't give any chocolates to his brother, then we can ask: do the chocolates belong to him alone? If not -- if his brother has a share in them -- he is being unjust in not letting his brother have any. But if they belong to him alone, he is not being unjust to his brother, even if he might be mean- spirited. The brother has no right to the chocolates. ii. Thomson offers a very different way of approaching the issue -- one not based on the notion of rights at all. The concept she attempts to use is moral decency. Her conclusion is that while there are some cases in which of course abortion is acceptable, there are other cases in which it would be morally indecent. iii. Suppose the boy owns the chocolates. Then he is not unjust in not giving any to his brother. But that doesn't mean that there is nothing wrong. At the very least, he is being mean. d. Analogy #3: The People-Spores [Failure of Conception]
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i. A person lives in a place where “people spores” can attach to furniture and grow people, becoming somewhat of a nuisance. A person puts up heavy-duty screens to guard against these people spores, however they attach anyways. ii. Her logic: Thomson argues that because a person has a right to get rid of these spores, it is morally permissible in some cases to abort. iii. She admits that while there are scenarios where the person could completely avoid the spores (removing furniture, never opening windows, doors, etc.), that this is somewhat akin to Hysterectomy when it comes to not wanting to be pregnant and thus according to her logic, are too extreme to be considered. 2) (Grab Bag) Answer all. a. What is Mary Anne Warren’s criticism of the traditional conservative
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2010 for the course PHL 42185 taught by Professor Krezs during the Fall '10 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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TEST 1 REVIEW - Philosophy 304: Contemporary Moral Problems...

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