Mary Anne Warren's Argument For The Moral Permissibility Of Adulthood

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Mary Anne Warren’s argument for the moral permissibility of abortion concentrates on the question of personhood and humanity with reference to a common anti-abortion argument and the discussion of potential personhood. Her argument builds on the belief that fetuses are not human beings and considers humanity through certain categories one must have in order to be considered a human person. Warren’s argument is logical, however, her argument is unsound because of a series of erroneous premises. Thus, because these premises are erroneous, an Aristotelian-type argument can be constructed that properly discusses potential persons and argues against Warren, thus aruging for the moral impermissibility of abortion. Warren establishes her arugment…show more content…
She then goes on to infer that a fetus is only a genetic human, not morally human, based on the rejection of five traits that, in her opinion, are “most central to the concept of personhood…and [moral] humanity,” which are the following: consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated activity, the capacity to communicate, and the presence of self-concepts. Regarding these characteristics, Warren believes it is “so obvious” that a fetus is not a person because it does not satisfy “none of” the traits and thus does not have “full moral rights.” Lastly, regarding genetic and moral humanity, Warren states that there are “people who are not human beings,” and, in the case of fetuses, “human beings [who] are not people…” Thus, Warren argues that abortion is morally permissible because fetuses are not people and do not have a right to life. Secondly, Warren argues for the moral permissibility of abortion by discussing a fetus’s potential personhood with the example of a space explorer who gets imprisoned by aliens. Through the space explorer example, Warren infers that “a women’s right to her health, happiness, freedom, and…her life”— like that right of the space

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