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Loyola University Chicago

2011

Naturalism

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Restoring The Balance: Setting Aside Naturalism In Favor Of Personhood In Extreme Cases, Brian Joseph Buckley Jan 2011

Restoring The Balance: Setting Aside Naturalism In Favor Of Personhood In Extreme Cases, Brian Joseph Buckley

Dissertations

This dissertation addresses a simple question: Is an anencephalic child a person? These children are born with only a brain stem, and, as such, cannot experience any type of consciousness. If personhood is understood as an articulable moral category, particularly distinct from DNA membership, reasonable evidence would be required to attribute any such moral category in these cases. That is, to claim that children who may never think or feel are persons carries a philosophical burden that extends beyond mere Homo Sapiens membership. This dissertation accepts that burden and answers that anencephalic children are persons. To do this, I first ...