Department/School

Philosophy

Date of this version

2011

Document Type

Book Chapter

Keywords

abortion, virtue ethics

Abstract

My goal here is to consider what contemporary virtue ethics can say about the problem of abortion. I begin by outlining virtue ethics in comparison to the two other dominant approaches in normative ethics. I then consider what some important virtue ethicists have said about abortion, especially the work of 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.

Published in

Stephen Napier (Ed.), Persons, moral worth and embryos: A critical analysis of pro-choice arguments from philosophy, law, and science

Citation/Other Information

Lu, M. (2011).Abortion and virtue ethics. In Stephen Napier (Ed.), Persons, moral worth and embryos: A critical analysis of pro-choice arguments from philosophy, law, and science (pp. 101-123). Dortrecht: Springer.

Creative Commons License


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