Thursday, 24 May 2018

40 Philosophers on the Irish Abortion Referendum

I was wondering when Philosophers for Yes would arrive. This was some days before they emerged from their noetic cocoon. I am sometimes overwhelmed by prescience. There was no horripilation, only - ‘you took your time’. Two score philosophers devising a statement they could all agree to is remarkable but achievable on the basis of not saying very much. Personhood is mentioned, DNA also: just enough of it from ‘Science for Philosophers’. In short incondite rambling.

I compare this to the pro-life No sayers who never stopped talking about ‘the unborn child’. They recognised that the intention of abortion, what it is aimed at, is the child that will be born and will demand care. It’s a causal thing - if you want a cold beer you will have to open the door of the fridge to take it. Focussing on just the opening part is pointless, it’s the chilled tin that is the point. The man on the Clapham Omnibus understands this but not most philosophers. Elizabeth Harman is different. In her Calvinist predestinarian way similar to the ‘I shall have already been saved’ doctrine she holds that being pregnant , really pregnant, is to expect a child that you hope to bring to term. In the event that you abort then her view is that one shall never have had been pregnant. It was not a pregnancy. James Franco I feel your bafflement.

never a pregnancy

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