Abortion and Unborn Human Life.
In his polemic against philosophical justifications of abortion, Lee successfully retrieves certain Aristotelian categories. He locates moral agency, rather than murky consciousness, as the proper criterion for the recognition of personhood. He employs the category of substance to designate the unique human organism, rather than fluctuating attributes of the organism, as the proper subject of rights. His use of "active potentiality"(60) to describe the capacities of the human person from conception imports a sophisticated version of act/potency into the confused debate over "potential persons."
The book's brilliant refutation of the dominant proabortion apologies is stronger than its own defense of the prolife position. To demonstrate the truth of the antiabortion case, it is not sufficient to prove the contradictions and inadequacies of the proabortion position. Certain moves, such as the quick transition from establishing the humanity of the embryo to establishing its personhood, require more detailed analysis. Certain key terms also demand more careful articulation. In the opening premise of the central syllogism ("Intentionally killing an innocent human person always is morally wrong"), the substitution of "intentional" for the more traditional "direct" yields to a subjectivism which the author otherwise shuns.
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|Author:||Conley, John J.|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Jun 1, 1997|
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