Essay question: When, if ever, is it permissible to have an abortion?
In this 5-page philosophy paper, students are asked to construct an argument for the permissibility or impermissibility of abortion, given the papers on that topic we read in class. The papers we looked at range across a whole series of considerations that are meant to show either that abortion is presumptively permissible or presumptively impermissible. Students must determine what they take the strongest argument for their view to be – not necessarily the same as any of the arguments we looked at in class – and then figure out how to construct an argument for it; consider what they take to be the strongest objection to their view; and then respond to it.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
The four papers we read in preparation for this assignment are:
1) Judith Jarvis Thomson, "A defense of abortion," available on JSTOR.
2) Michael Tooley, "Abortion and Infanticide", available on JSTOR.
3) Don Marquis, "An argument against abortion", available on JSTOR.
4) Jeff McMahan, Infanticide, from *Utilitas*, 2007.