PHILOSOPHY: The Abortion Assignment

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The purpose of this assignment is to have you practice the skills necessary in completion of Student, these are:

1. Understand and apply the criteria of correct philosophical reasoning
2. Understand the difference between a rhetorically good argument and a rationally good argument
3. Identify, reconstruct and evaluation arguments posed by philosophers
In doing this also, you will be practicing the skills necessary to present a solution to a philosophical problem. But, in a round-about way, each of the outcomes is present.


In her paper On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, Mary Anne Warren argues for the moral permissibility of abortion. She handles this by going on two routes:

1. The permissibility of abortion even if we classify fetuses as people.
2. Showing that fetuses are not in fact people.
As was explained in the lecture, the main question behind whether abortions are permissible concerns on whether fetuses are people. Your task is to take a route that she takes and then answer the following:

This is the route that you could take. If you go this way you need to:
(A) present and explain, in your own words, the traditional argument against abortions (this is found in paragraph 23 of the reading)
(B) explain, in your own words, why, according to Warren, this argument is bad
(C) present and explain, in your own words, what it takes to be a person rather than just a human (according to Warren) (this is also the part where you say whether Warren thinks fetuses count as people)
(D) say whether you think Warren’s argument is good and why you think that.

Each of these should take you around a paragraph to answer. Each of them are worth 5pts. Labeling your paragraphs with ‘(A)’ through ‘(D)’ according to what part you are talking about in them will make grading very fast and easy for me. Since this is worth 20pts, this is worth 5% of your total grade.


To submit this assignment, I only accept .pdf, .doc, .odt, and .docx. I do not accept .pages. You can find where to submit in the upper right of this screen. As for all assignments in this class, the standard is Times New Roman, 12pt font, double spaced, 2-3 pages (that is, at least a few words onto the second page to the bottom of the third).


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