Does a Normal Foetus Really Have a Future of Value? A Reply to Marquis
Lovering, Robert P.
Bioethics 2005 April; 19(2): 131-145
The traditional approach to the abortion debate revolves around numerous issues, such as whether the foetus is a person, whether the foetus has rights, and more. Don Marquis suggests that this traditional approach leads to a standoff and that the abortion debate 'requires a different strategy.' Hence his 'future of value' strategy, which is summarized as follows: (1) A normal foetus has a future of value. (2) Depriving a normal foetus of a future of value imposes a misfortune on it. (3) Imposing a misfortune on a normal foetus is prima facie wrong. (4) Therefore, depriving a normal foetus of a future of value is prima facie wrong. (5) Killing a normal foetus deprives it of a future value. (6) Therefore, killing a normal foetus is prima facie wrong. In this paper, I argue that Marquis's strategy is not different since it involves the concept of person--a concept deeply rooted in the traditional approach. Specifically, I argue that futures are valuable insofar as they are not only dominated by goods of consciousness, but are experienced by psychologically continuous persons. Moreover, I argue that his strategy is not sound since premise (1) is false. Specifically, I argue that a normal foetus, at least during the first trimester, is not a person. Thus, during that stage of development it is not capable of experiencing its future as a psychologically continuous person and, hence, it does not have a future of value.
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Marquis, Don (2011-06)According to Carson Strong, the future of value account of the wrongness of killing is subject to counterexamples. Ezio Di Nucci has disagreed. Their disagreement turns on whether the concepts of a future of value and a ...
Marquis, D. (2002-06)In this issue of the journal Mark Brown has offered a new argument against my potential future of value theory. I argue that even though the premises of this new argument are far more defensible than the premises of his ...