David Boonin-Vail. In her article, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson defended the following thesis: the impermissibility of abortion does. David Boonin has written the most thorough and detailed case for the moral permissibility of abortion yet published. Critically examining a wide range of. Boonin, David, A Defense of Abortion, Cambridge University Press, , pp, $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by: Win-chiat Lee.
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A Defense of Abortion – David Boonin – Google Books
A Defense of Abortion by David Boonin. The central thesis of philosopher David Boonin is boojin the moral case against abortion can be shown to be unsuccessful on terms that critics of abortion can and do accept.
Critically aa a wide array of arguments that have attempted to establish that every human fetus has a right to life, Boonin posits that all of these arguments fail on their own terms. He then argu The central thesis of philosopher David Boonin is that the moral case against abortion can be shown to be unsuccessful on terms that critics of abortion can and do accept. He then argues that even if the fetus does have a right to life, abortion can still be shown to be morally permissible on the critic of abortion’s aobrtion terms.
Finally, Boonin considers a number of arguments against abortion that do not depend on the claim that the fetus has a right to life, including those based on the golden rule, considerations of uncertainty and a commitment aborgion certain feminist principles, and asserts that these positions, too, are ultimately unsuccessful.
The result is the most thorough and detailed case for the moral permissibility of abortion that has yet been written.
A Defense of Abortion // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
David Boonin is professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this defensr, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Defense of Abortionplease sign up.
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Jul 04, Joshua Stein rated it liked it Shelves: The selling point for Boonin’s A Defense of Abotion is that it is the best available book on the subject of abortion. I suspect this is true, and it was absolutely true at the time that the book was published. The book is designed to be a strong overview of the subject of abortion for those with a little bit of general ethics training, and on this point I think it succeeds.
I do have a number of problems with the book that I will outline below, because I think that they’re important to mention. I don’t want that to detract from those who would read the book, though, because i think that the target audience for the book would really get a lot out of it.
Sections one and two of the book are, I think, generally pretty strong. I don’t agree with a lot of them, but a part of that is because Boonin is on a mission to engage those critical of abortion on their own terms. The result is that he makes a lot of assumptions that are kind of tenuous to me, and I don’t think are consistent with the best philosophy, even at the time the book was published. But the book definitely succeeds in its polemical goals by extending to the anti-abortion position.
The discussion of developmental biology in Chapter 3 is really painfully outdated; while that’s to be expected for a book that is almost 15 years old, the material was actually about 10 years out of date when Boonin published the book. The bulk of the citations in the chapter are from at the most recent the early 90s, and this draws a lot of skepticism. I don’t know that the average undergraduate will pick up on this and draw concern about it, but it is really troubling, from an academic standpoint.
The discussion of “responsibility” objections in Chapter 4 was pretty troubling, as well. I don’t think that this is Boonin’s fault, because he embraces an approach to understanding consent and responsibility that are accessible for his undergraduate students.
However, the theories of consent that are offered are actually really, really bad; alternative x of consent would make the case for the moral permissibility of abortion a lot easier not necessarily Boonin’s goal, of course but also make the book more rigorous.
I did find the weakness of these accounts of consent at least deserving of a comment. Boonin winds up on the right side of the discussion, but I find the silence on these theories really troubling.
Overall, it is a good book for people who want an introduction to a number of the arguments around the issue of abortion. I hope that it is a good resource for those in the discussion, because it does a much better job than many of the other things that people read around this issue. I think that it would be worthwhile for Boonin, or someone else, to publish something in a similar style with updated arguments and information, but much of Boonin’s writing is still very useful even a decade older.
My misgivings about the book are largely those of an academic who wanted more, and those are good misgivings to have as an author. Apr 02, Clinton Wilcox rated it really liked it. Even given that, it was a joy to read this book. This is hands-down the best defense of abortion currently available. If you wish to keep up-to-date on the abortion issue, and know what the best arguments in support of the pro-choice side are, this would be the book to read.
It is a little bit of heavy reading but he thoroughly examines just about every pro-life argument that’s worth mentioning in this book. I think ultimately his case fails, but I think he does make many I’m staunchly pro-life.
A Defense of Abortion
I think ultimately his case fails, but I think he does make many valid points in the book. Jun 11, Shanna rated it it was ok Shelves: Nov bponin, An rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the best defense of abortion I have encountered.
While ultimately I disagree with Boonin’s conclusions, I am grateful for his contributions to the abortion debate. Jul 15, Sofia rated it it was amazing. A very dense book.
The most comprehensive work that I have come across while doing some personal research on the debate over the morality of abortion. Jun 01, Abotrion rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I thought this was the most rational and academic defense of abortion I’ve read.
dwfense Although it is a little dense, and does turn on some pretty aborrtion distinctions boojin book presents a completely rational argument deffnse “grounds the pro-life side can agree with.
The book bolnin a little dense and took me a while to get through. Still, it was well worth it. Jul 28, Erik Z rated it really liked it Shelves: David Boonin’s book “A Defense of Abortion” is abortiion book written for people who seek to understand the philosophical arguments for and against abortion. To some, the book might appear overly technical and long-winded, but it must be said that the complex nature of the issues surrounding abortion demands nothing less than the kind of meticulous analysis and rigorous reasoning that is present throughout Booin’s book.
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