About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Saturday self-promotion - "The Supposed Rights of the Fetus"

This piece, "The Supposed Rights of the Fetus", was first published by Quadrant in 2002. (It received some minor pushback there, since it challenged the views held by many people in the magazine's largely socially conservative audience.) I argued that a human fetus does not have rights - such as a right to life - but please note that the idea was to examine what I took to be the philosophically strongest arguments for a view contrary to mine. In the article, I attempt to represent the opposed arguments fairly and to show in an analytical, rather than polemical, way why they leave me unpersuaded.

"The Supposed Rights of the Fetus" can also be seen as a precursor to my "Stem-cell research on other worlds" article published a few years later by the Journal of Medical Ethics. The overall approaches are consistent, but there is not a lot of overlap. I see the two articles as complementary rather than as one subsuming the other.

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