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  1. Were You a Part of Your Mother?Elselijn Kingma - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):609-646.
    Is the mammalian embryo/fetus a part of the organism that gestates it? According to the containment view, the fetus is not a part of, but merely contained within or surrounded by, the gestating organism. According to the parthood view, the fetus is a part of the gestating organism. This paper proceeds in two stages. First, I argue that the containment view is the received view; that it is generally assumed without good reason; and that it needs substantial support if it (...)
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  • Schrödinger’s Fetus.Joona Räsänen - forthcoming - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy.
    This paper defends and develops Elizabeth Harman’s Actual Future Principle with a concept called Schrödinger’s Fetus. I argue that all early fetuses are Schrödinger’s Fetuses: those early fetuses that survive and become conscious beings have full moral status already as early fetuses, but those fetuses that die as early fetuses lack moral status. With Schrödinger’s Fetus, it becomes possible to accept two widely held but contradictory intuitions to be true, and to avoid certain reductiones ad absurdum that pro-life and pro-choice (...)
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  • A Portable Defense of the Procreation Asymmetry.Jake Earl - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):178-199.
    The Procreation Asymmetry holds that we have strong moral reasons not to create miserable people for their own sakes, but no moral reasons to create happy people for their own sakes. To defend this conjunction against an argument that it leads to inconsistency, I show how recognizing ‘creation’ as a temporally extended process allows us to revise the conjuncts in a way that preserves their intuitive force. This defense of the Procreation Asymmetry is preferable to others because it does not (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Surrogacy.Suki Finn - 2018 - In David Boonin (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. pp. 649-659.
    As with most other areas of reproduction, surrogacy is highly regulated. But the legislation and policies on surrogacy are written in such ways that make large (and possibly mistaken) assumptions about the metaphysical relationship between the mother and the fetus – whether the fetus is a part of, or contained by, the mother. It is the purpose of this chapter to highlight these assumptions, and to demonstrate the impact that alternative metaphysical views can have on our conceptualization of surrogacy. With (...)
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  • The Constitution of the Human Embryo as Substantial Change.David Alvargonzález - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):172-191.
    This paper analyzes the transformation from the human zygote to the implanted embryo under the prism of substantial change. After a brief introduction, it vindicates the Aristotelian ideas of substance and accident, and those of substantial and accidental change. It then claims that the transformation from the multicelled zygote to the implanted embryo amounts to a substantial change. Pushing further, it contends that this substantial change cannot be explained following patterns of genetic reductionism, emergence, and self-organization, and proposes Gustavo Bueno’s (...)
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  • Metaphysics and Morality at the Boundaries of Life.Philip Robichaud - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (2):97 – 105.
    (2006). Metaphysics and Morality at the Boundaries of Life. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 97-105.
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  • Sixteen Days? A Reply to B. Smith and B. Brogaard on the Beginning of Human Individuals.Gregor Damschen, Alfonso Gómez-Lobo & Dieter Schönecker - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (2):165 – 175.
    When does a human being begin to exist? Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard have argued that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. In their view, a human individual begins to exist at gastrulation, i. e. at about sixteen days after fertilization. In this paper we argue that even granting Smith and Brogaard's ontological commitments and biological assumptions, the existence of a human being can be shown to (...)
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  • Totipotency, Twinning, and Ensoulment at Fertilization.Rose Koch-Hershenov - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (2):139 – 164.
    From fertilization to approximately the sixteenth day of development, human embryonic cells are said to have the capacities of totipotency and monozygotic twinning, both of which are problematic to a theory of ensoulment at fertilization. In this article I will address the problems which these capacities pose to such a theory and present an interpretation of the biological data which renders ensoulment at fertilization more plausible. I will then argue that not only is an ensoulment theory consistent with current biological (...)
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  • Zellen in der Logik des Lebens.Niko Strobach - 2010 - Logos: Freie Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie 2:2-51.
    In diesem Aufsatz wird im Rahmen des Projekts einer Logik des Lebens die Ebene der Zellen und die Beziehung zwischen Lebewesen und Zellen behandelt. Es werden die Beziehungen "ist Zell-Vorfahre von", "ist Zelle von" und "ist Zelle desselben Lebewesens wie" untersucht. Postulate für Lebewesen werden umgedeutet und auf die Zellebene übertragen. Es werden Möglichkeiten diskutiert, die Vorfahren-Relation für Lebewesen auf der Grundlage der Vorfahren-Relation für Zellen zu definieren. Eine besondere Rolle spielen dabei Einzellflaschenhälse ("one-cell bottlenecks" / "single-cell bottlenecks").
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  • Substance Ontology Cannot Determine the Moral Status of Embryos.J. Morris - 2012 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (4):331-350.
    Assigning the appropriate moral status to different stages of human development is an urgent problem in bioethics. Many philosophers have attempted to assess developmental events using strict ontological principles to determine when a developing entity becomes essentially human. This approach is not consistent with recent findings in reproductive and stem cell biology, including the discovery of the plasticity of early embryonic development and the advent of induced pluripotent stem cells. Substance ontology should therefore not be used to determine the moral (...)
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  • Strange Bedfellows? Common Ground on the Moral Status Question.Shane Maxwell Wilkins - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):130-147.
    When does a developing human being acquire moral status? I outline three different positions based on substance ontology that attempt to solve the question by locating some morally salient event in the process of human development question. In the second section, I consider some specific empirical objections to one of these positions, refute them, and then show how similar objections and responses would generalize to the other substance-based positions on the question. The crucial finding is that all the attempts to (...)
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  • Moral Uncertainty in Bioethical Argumentation: A New Understanding of the Pro-Life View on Early Human Embryos.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (6):441-457.
    In this article, I present a new interpretation of the pro-life view on the status of early human embryos. In my understanding, this position is based not on presumptions about the ontological status of embryos and their developmental capabilities but on the specific criteria of rational decisions under uncertainty and on a cautious response to the ambiguous status of embryos. This view, which uses the decision theory model of moral reasoning, promises to reconcile the uncertainty about the ontological status of (...)
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  • Fission, Fusion, and the Simple View.Christopher Tollefsen - 2006 - Christian Bioethics 12 (3):255-263.
    In this essay, I defend three Simple Views concerning human beings. First, that the human embryo is, from the one-cell stage onwards, a single unitary organism. Second, that when an embryo twins, it ceases to exist and two new embryos come into existence. And third, that you and I are essentially human organisms. This cluster of views shows that it is not necessary to rely on co-location, or other obscure claims, in understanding human embryogenesis.
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  • Fission and Confusion.David Hershenov & Rose Koch-Hershenov - 2006 - Christian Bioethics 12 (3):237-254.
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  • Fission and Confusion.David Hershenov & Rose Koch-Hershenov - 2006 - Christian Bioethics 12 (3):237-254.
    Catholic opponents of abortion and embryonic stem cell research usually base their position on a hylomorphic account of ensoulment at fertilization. They maintain that we each started out as one-cell ensouled organisms. Critics of this position argue that it is plagued by a number of intractable problems due to fission (twinning) and fusion. We're unconvinced that such objections to early ensoulment provide any reason to doubt the coherence of the hylomorphic account. However, we do maintain that a defense of ensoulment (...)
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  • Four Queries Concerning the Metaphysics of Early Human Embryogenesis.A. A. Howsepian - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (2):140-157.
    In this essay, I attempt to provide answers to the following four queries concerning the metaphysics of early human embryogenesis. (1) Following its first cellular fission, is it coherent to claim that one and only one of two “blastomeric” twins of a human zygote is identical with that zygote? (2) Following the fusion of two human pre-embryos, is it coherent to claim that one and only one pre-fusion pre-embryo is identical with that postfusion pre-embryo? (3) Does a live human being (...)
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  • The European Embryonic Stem-Cell Debate and the Difficulties of Embryological Kantianism.Alexandre Mauron & Bernard Baertschi - 2004 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (5):563 – 581.
    As elsewhere, the ethical debate on embryonic stem cell research in Central Europe, especially Germany and Switzerland, involves controversy over the status of the human embryo. There is a distinctive Kantian flavor to the standard arguments however, and we show how they often embody a set of misunderstandings and argumentative shortcuts we term "embryological Kantianism." We also undertake a broader analysis of three arguments typically presented in this debate, especially in official position papers, namely the identity, continuity, and potentiality arguments. (...)
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  • Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy.Elselijn Kingma - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:165-187.
    What is the metaphysical relationship between the fetus/embryo and the pregnant organism? In this paper I apply a substance metaphysics view developed by Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard to argue, on the basis of topological connectedness, that fetuses/embryos are Lady-Parts: part of the maternal organism up until birth. This leaves two options. Either mammalian organisms begin at birth, or we revise our conception of organisms such that mammalian organisms can be part of other mammals. The first option has some advantages: (...)
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  • The Moral Status of the Human Embryo.Mark T. Brown - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (2):132-158.
    Moral status ascribes equal obligations and rights to individuals on the basis of membership in a protected group. Substance change is an event that results in the origin or cessation of individuals who may be members of groups with equal moral status. In this paper, two substance changes that affect the moral status of human embryos are identified. The first substance change begins with fertilization and ends with the formation of the blastocyst, a biological individual with moral status comparable to (...)
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  • Human Nature and Moral Status in Bioethics.Matthew Shea - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (2):115-131.
    The articles in this issue cover a wide range of topics, including the moral status of human embryos and human-animal chimeras and hybrids, the determination of death, theories of human cognition, and policies on the identity of mitochondrial donors. Despite this variety, there are two underlying questions that tie the articles together: what is a human being? And, what is the basis of moral status? First, I discuss these two questions and why they are important for bioethics. Then I provide (...)
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  • On Slippery Slopes.Philip E. Devine - 2018 - Philosophy 93 (3):375-393.
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  • So Pleasant, so Addictive: Some Remarks on Alexander Pruss’ Work One Body.Tomasz Kąkol - 2015 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 63 (3):119-128.
    In this article in a form of a review I analyze at length A. Pruss’ book One Body, pointing at where I agree with him and stressing several flaws in his arguments. The general line of thought, which is exploring the biblical metaphor of “being one body,” is ultimately sufficient for me from the theological, but not the philosophical point of view.
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  • Should We Sacrifice Embryos to Cure People?Francisco Lara - 2012 - Human Affairs 22 (4):623-635.
    Medical stem cell research is currently the cause of much moral controversy. Those who would confer the same moral status to embryos as we do to humans consider that harvesting such embryonic cells entails sacrificing embryos. In this paper, the author analyses critically the arguments given for such a perspective. Finally, a theory of moral status is outlined that coherently and plausibly supports the use of embryonic stem cells in therapeutic research.
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  • “Other Selves”: Moral and Legal Proposals Regarding the Personhood of Cryopreserved Human Embryos.E. Christian Brugger - 2009 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (2):105-129.
    This essay has two purposes. The first is to argue that our moral duties towards human embryos should be assessed in light of the Golden Rule by asking the normative question, “how would I want to be treated if I were an embryo?” Some reject the proposition “I was an embryo” on the basis that embryos should not be recognized as persons. This essay replies to five common arguments denying the personhood of human embryos: (1) that early human embryos lack (...)
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  • The Moral-Principle Objection to Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.Don Marquis - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (2-3):190–206.
    Opponents of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research claim that such research is incompatible with the moral principle that it is always wrong intentionally to end a human life. In this essay, I discuss how that principle might be revised so that it is subject to as few difficulties as possible. I then argue that even the most defensible version of the principle is compatible with the moral permissibility of hESC research.
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  • Twin Inc.Rose Hershenov & Derek Doroski - 2018 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 39 (4):301-319.
    This paper presents an account of how human spontaneous embryonic chimeras are formed. On the prevalent view in the philosophical literature, it is said that chimeras are the product of two embryos that fuse to form a new third embryo. We call this version of fusion synthesis. In contrast to synthesis, we present an alternative mechanism for chimera formation called incorporation, wherein one embryo incorporates the cells of a second embryo into its body. We argue that the incorporation thesis explains (...)
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  • If Abortion, Then Infanticide.David B. Hershenov & Rose J. Hershenov - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5):387-409.
    Our contention is that all of the major arguments for abortion are also arguments for permitting infanticide. One cannot distinguish the fetus from the infant in terms of a morally significant intrinsic property, nor are they morally discernible in terms of standing in different relationships to others. The logic of our position is that if such arguments justify abortion, then they also justify infanticide. If we are right that infanticide is not justified, then such arguments will fail to justify abortion. (...)
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  • “Life Begins When They Steal Your Bicycle”: Cross-Cultural Practices of Personhood at the Beginnings and Ends of Life.Lynn M. Morgan - 2006 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 34 (1):8-15.
    This paper examines two reasons anthropological expertise has recently come to be considered relevant to American debates about the beginnings and ends of life. First, bioethicists and clinicians working to accommodate diverse perspectives into clinical decision-making have come to appreciate the importance of culture. Second, anthropologists are the recognized authorities on the cultural logic and behaviors of the “Other.” Yet the definitions of culture with which bioethicists and clinicians operate may differ from those used by contemporary anthropologists, who view culture (...)
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  • “Life Begins When They Steal Your Bicycle”: Cross-Cultural Practices of Personhood at the Beginnings and Ends of Life.Lynn M. Morgan - 2006 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 34 (1):8-15.
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