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Abortion and Virtue Ethics

  • Mathew LuEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 111)

Abstract

What can contemporary virtue ethics say about the problem of abortion? In what follows I attempt to answer that question by considering both what has been said and what we may further argue from a virtue-focused perspective. We begin by comparing virtue ethics to the two other dominant approaches in normative ethics. I then consider what some important virtue ethicists have said about abortion in particular, especially Rosalind Hursthouse. After recognizing the many contributions her analysis offers, I also note some of the deficiencies in her approach, particularly in her attempt to bracket the problems of fetal status and women’s rights. Finally, in light of these criticisms I attempt to extend a virtue ethics analysis to embrace a more robust recognition of the humanity of the fetus and the attendant demand of a near absolute prohibition on abortion.

Keywords

Natural Kind Moral Status Virtue Ethic Normative Ethic Virtuous Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of St. ThomasSt. PaulUSA

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