"Thomson's Arguments" Discussion Questions

Rosalind Hursthouse
  1. Hursthouse criticizes Judith Jarvis Thomson for focusing so much on rights, and neglecting other forms of moral evaluation. Do you agree that this is a problem for Thomson? Why or why not? Is the debate about abortion about more than the rights of the mother?
  2. Given how complicated the decision to have an abortion is, does it seem fair to make moral judgments about the quality of a woman’s character if she decides to have an abortion?
  3. Are the cases that Hursthouse brings up—a child on a doorstep, a person at sea— properly analogous to pregnancy? What does this mean for Hursthouse’s argument?
  4. How might Thomson reply to Hursthouse’s criticisms? Write an essay defending Thomson’s view.
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