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Nathan Nobis
Morehouse College
  1. "Common Arguments About Abortion" and "Better (Philosophical) Arguments About Abortion".Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob - 2019 - Introduction to Ethics: An Open Educational Resource.
    Two chapters -- "Common Arguments about Abortion" and "Better (Philosophical) Arguments About Abortion" -- in one file, from the open access textbook "Introduction to Ethics: An Open Educational Resource" edited by Noah Levin. -/- Adults, children and babies are arguably wrong to kill, fundamentally, because we are conscious, aware and have feelings. Since early fetuses entirely lack these characteristics, we argue that they are not inherently wrong to kill and so most abortions are not morally wrong, since most abortions are (...)
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  2. Is Your Opinion on Abortion Wrong? Critical Thinking & Abortion.Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob - 2020 - Science and Philosophy.
    For the past few years in the United States, almost daily there’s a headline about new proposed abortions restrictions. Conservatives cheer, liberals despair. But who is right here? Should abortion be generally legal or should it be banned? Is it usually immoral or is it usually not wrong at all? These same questions, of course, are asked in other countries. To many people, answers to these questions seem obvious, and people with different or contrary answers are, well, just wrong. But (...)
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  3. Ethical Egoism.Nathan Nobis - 2020 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
    Selfishness is often considered a vice and selfish actions are often judged to be wrong. But sometimes we ought to do what’s best for ourselves: in a sense, we sometimes should be selfish. The ethical theory known as ethical egoism states that we are always morally required to do what’s in our own self-interest. The view isn’t that we are selfish—this is psychological egoism—but that we ought to be. This essay explores ethical egoism and the main arguments for and against (...)
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  4. Common Arguments About Abortion.Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob - 2019 - Introduction to Ethics: An Open Educational Resource.
    An introductory chapter on abortion that (1) reviews some common DEFINITIONS of abortion and argues that one definition is better than the others, (2) reviews and critiques some common QUESTION-BEGGING ARGUMENTS, on both sides of the issue, that have premises that merely assume the conclusion they are intended to support and (3) reviews and critiques many "EVERYDAY ARGUMENTS" on abortion, that is arguments that people without strong philosophical backgrounds give every day on the issues yet are poor good arguments. This (...)
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  5. Euthanasia, or Mercy Killing.Nathan Nobis - 2019 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
    Sadly, there are people in very bad medical conditions who want to die. They are in pain, they are suffering, and they no longer find their quality of life to be at an acceptable level anymore. -/- When people like this are kept alive by machines or other medical treatments, can it be morally permissible to let them die? -/- Advocates of “passive euthanasia” argue that it can be. Their reasons, however, suggest that it can sometimes be not wrong to (...)
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  6.  23
    Review of Tom L. Beauchamp and David DeGrazia PRINCIPLES OF ANIMAL RESEARCH ETHICS. [REVIEW]Nathan Nobis - forthcoming - Bioethics.
    . . Tom Beauchamp and David DeGrazia's principles do improve upon the 3Rs which don’t mention the need for benefits from animal experimentation, the need to compare these benefits to animal harms, and provide no hard limits on experimentation. -/- However, they present their principles as “useful” for people engaged in animal research and as a “philosophically sound” (p. 4) framework for a new ethic for animal research. Regrettably, I have doubts about both these overall claims and so am pessimistic (...)
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  7.  22
    Why IACUCs Need Ethicists.Nathan Nobis - forthcoming - ILAR.
    Some animal research is arguably morally wrong, and some animal research is morally bad but could be improved. Who is most likely to be able to identify wrong or bad animal research and advocate for improvements? I argue that philosophical ethicists have the expertise that makes them the likely best candidates for these tasks. I review the skills, knowledge and perspectives that philosophical ethicists tend to have which makes them ethical experts. I argue that, insofar as IACUCs are expected to (...)
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  8. Thinking Critically About Abortion.Nathan Nobis - 2019 - Decaturish.
    An editorial / opinion piece on abortion: -/- "I’m a philosophy professor who specializes in medical ethics and I teach and write about the ethics of abortion. So I am very familiar with the medical, legal and – most importantly – ethical or moral issues related to HB 481, the so-called “heartbeat bill” that would effectively ban abortion in Georgia. At least hundreds of other philosophy, ethics and law professors in Georgia teach these ethical debates about abortion: they are also, (...)
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  9. A Moral Argument for Veganism.Daniel Hooley & Nathan Nobis - 2016 - In Andrew Chignell, Matthew Halteman & Terence Cuneo (eds.), Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments on the Ethics of Eating.
    We offer a relatively simple and straightforward argument that each of us ought to be vegan. We don’t defend this position by appealing to ‘animal rights’ or the view that animals and humans are ‘moral equals’. Rather, we argue that animal agriculture causes serious harms to other animals (such as pain, suffering and death) and these harms are morally unjustified or caused for no good reason. This is true for both ‘factory farming’ and smaller, so-called ‘humane’ farms. We argue that (...)
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  10. Abortion and Soundbites: Why Pro-Choice Arguments Are Harder to Make.Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob - 2019 - Areo Magazine.
    Arguments are nowadays often presented as soundbites: as slogans, tweets, memes and even gifs. Arguments developed in detail often meet the response TL;DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read). This is unfortunate—especially when tackling the topic of abortion. Soundbites make many pro-life arguments seem stronger than they really are, while the complexities of pro-choice arguments can’t be readily reduced to soundbites.
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  11. The Philosophers' Brief on Chimpanzee Personhood.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, Gillian Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David Pena-Guzman, James Rocha, Bernard Rollin, Jeff Sebo, Adam Shriver & Rebecca Walker - 2018 - Proposed Brief by Amici Curiae Philosophers in Support of the Petitioner-Appelllant Court of Appeals, State of New York,.
    In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
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  12. Tom Regan on Kind Arguments Against Animal Rights and for Human Rights.Nathan Nobis - 2016 - In Mylan Engel Jr & Gary Comstock (eds.), The Moral Rights of Animals. Lexington Books. pp. 65-80.
    Tom Regan argues that human beings and some non-human animals have moral rights because they are “subjects of lives,” that is, roughly, conscious, sentient beings with an experiential welfare. A prominent critic, Carl Cohen, objects: he argues that only moral agents have rights and so animals, since they are not moral agents, lack rights. An objection to Cohen’s argument is that his theory of rights seems to imply that human beings who are not moral agents have no moral rights, but (...)
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  13. Moral Experts, Deference & Disagreement.Jonathan Matheson, Nathan Nobis & Scott McElreath - 2018 - In Nathan Nobis, Scott McElreath & Jonathan Matheson (eds.), Moral Expertise. Springer Verlag.
    We sometimes seek expert guidance when we don’t know what to think or do about a problem. In challenging cases concerning medical ethics, we may seek a clinical ethics consultation for guidance. The assumption is that the bioethicist, as an expert on ethical issues, has knowledge and skills that can help us better think about the problem and improve our understanding of what to do regarding the issue. The widespread practice of ethics consultations raises these questions and more: -/- • (...)
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  14. Early and Later Abortions: Ethics and Law.Nathan Nobis - forthcoming - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us. Oxford University Press.
    Most abortions occur early in pregnancy. I argue that these abortions, and so most abortions, are not morally wrong and that the best arguments given to think that these abortions are wrong are weak. I also argue that these abortions, and probably all abortions, should be legal. -/- I begin by observing that people sometimes respond to the issue by describing the circumstances of abortion, not offering reasons for their views about those circumstances; I then dismiss “question-begging” arguments about abortion (...)
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  15. Thinking Critically About Abortion: Why Most Abortions Aren’T Wrong & Why All Abortions Should Be Legal.Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob - 2019 - Atlanta, GA: Open Philosophy Press.
    This book introduces readers to the many arguments and controversies concerning abortion. While it argues for ethical and legal positions on the issues, it focuses on how to think about the issues, not just what to think about them. It is an ideal resource to improve your understanding of what people think, why they think that and whether their (and your) arguments are good or bad, and why. It's ideal for classroom use, discussion groups, organizational learning, and personal reading. -/- (...)
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  16. Introduction to Ethics: An Open Educational Resource, Collected and Edited by Noah Levin.Noah Levin, Nathan Nobis, David Svolba, Brandon Wooldridge, Kristina Grob, Eduardo Salazar, Benjamin Davies, Jonathan Spelman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Kristin Seemuth Whaley, Jan F. Jacko & Prabhpal Singh (eds.) - 2019 - Huntington Beach, California: N.G.E Far Press.
    Collected and edited by Noah Levin -/- Table of Contents: -/- UNIT ONE: INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY ETHICS: TECHNOLOGY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND IMMIGRATION 1 The “Trolley Problem” and Self-Driving Cars: Your Car’s Moral Settings (Noah Levin) 2 What is Ethics and What Makes Something a Problem for Morality? (David Svolba) 3 Letter from the Birmingham City Jail (Martin Luther King, Jr) 4 A Defense of Affirmative Action (Noah Levin) 5 The Moral Issues of Immigration (B.M. Wooldridge) 6 The Ethics of our (...)
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  17.  94
    Xenotransplantation, Subsistence Hunting and the Pursuit of Health: Lessons for Animal Rights-Based Vegan Advocacy.Nathan Nobis - 2018 - Between the Species 21 (1).
    I argue that, contrary to what Tom Regan suggests, his rights view implies that subsistence hunting is wrong, that is, killing animals for food is wrong even when they are the only available food source, since doing so violates animal rights. We can see that subsistence hunting is wrong on the rights view by seeing why animal experimentation, specifically xenotransplanation, is wrong on the rights view: if it’s wrong to kill an animal to take organs to save a human life, (...)
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  18. Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers' Brief.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, G. K. D. Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David M. Pena-Guzman & Jeff Sebo - 2018 - London: Routledge.
    In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted (...)
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  19. Review of SHERRY F. COLB AND MICHAEL C. DORF Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights. [REVIEW]Nathan Nobis - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1 (1):1-2.
    In this book, law professors Sherry F. Colb and Michael C. Dorf argue that: -/- many non-human animals, at least vertebrates, are morally considerable and prima facie wrong to harm because they are sentient, i.e., conscious and capable of experiencing pains and pleasures; most aborted human fetuses are not sentient -- their brains and nervous systems are not yet developed enough for sentience -- and so the motivating moral concern for animals doesn't apply to most abortions[2]; later abortions affecting sentient (...)
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  20. Responding to Morally Flawed Historical Philosophers and Philosophies.Nathan Nobis & Victor F. Abundez-Guerra - 2018 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
    Many historically-influential philosophers had profoundly wrong moral views or behaved very badly. Aristotle thought women were “deformed men” and that some people were slaves “by nature.” Descartes had disturbing views about non-human animals. Hume and Kant were racists. Hegel disparaged Africans. Nietzsche despised sick people. Mill condoned colonialism. Fanon was homophobic. Frege was anti-Semitic; Heidegger was a Nazi. Schopenhauer was sexist. Rousseau abandoned his children. Wittgenstein beat his young students. Unfortunately, these examples are just a start. -/- These philosophers are (...)
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  21.  74
    Reply to Christopher Tollefsen on Abortion.Nathan Nobis - forthcoming - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us.
    Are *you* the same thing as your body? Did *you* begin at conception? Do you have a rational and free "nature" or "essence"? Some answer 'yes' to all and argue that this means that abortion is wrong. This argument is discussed here.
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  22.  87
    Abortion and Animal Rights - Does Either Topic Lead to the Other?Nathan Nobis - 2016 - What's Wrong? Blog.
    Should people who believe in animal rights think that abortion is wrong? Should pro-lifers accept animal rights? If you think it’s wrong to kill fetuses to end pregnancies, should you also think it’s wrong to kill animals to, say, eat them? If you, say, oppose animal research, should you also oppose abortion? -/- Some argue ‘yes’ and others argue ‘no’ to either or both sets of questions. The correct answer, however, seems to be, ‘it depends’: it depends on why someone (...)
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  23. Animals & Ethics 101: Thinking Critically About Animal Rights.Nathan Nobis - 2016 - Open Philosophy Press.
    This book provides an overview of the current debates about the nature and extent of our moral obligations to animals. Which, if any, uses of animals are morally wrong, which are morally permissible and why? What, if any, moral obligations do we, individually and as a society, have towards animals and why? How should animals be treated? Why? We will explore the most influential and most developed answers to these questions – given by philosophers, scientists, and animal advocates and their (...)
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