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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Anscombe, Thomson, And Double Effect, Thomas A. Cavanaugh Jan 2016

Anscombe, Thomson, And Double Effect, Thomas A. Cavanaugh

Philosophy

In “Modern Moral Philosophy” Anscombe argues that the distinction between intention of an end or means and foresight of a consequentially comparable outcome proves crucial in act-evaluation. The deontologist J. J. Thomson disagrees. She asserts that Anscombe mistakes the distinction’s moral import; it bears on agent-evaluation, not act-evaluation. I map out the contours of this dispute. I show that it implicates other disagreements, some to be expected and others not to be expected. Amongst the expected, one finds the ethicists’ accounts of action and understanding of how agent-assessment relates to act-assessment. Amongst the unexpected, one finds the moralists’ views ...


Dignity, Pet-Euthanasia And Person Euthanasia, Thomas A. Cavanaugh Jan 2016

Dignity, Pet-Euthanasia And Person Euthanasia, Thomas A. Cavanaugh

Philosophy

Challenging the standard argument for euthanasia, G. E. M. Anscombe holds that euthanasia does not comport with human dignity interpreted in terms of self-determination. For, were self-determination to ground any killing it would justify self-killing, not being killed by another. I articulate reasons for thinking that she correctly identifies the dissonance of self-determination with euthanasia. Additionally, I argue that the same holds, less obviously, for physician-assisted suicide (PAS, which she does not explicitly consider).

Moreover, Anscombe suggests that what actually occurs in euthanasia in effect equates a person to a humanely euthanized dog and, thereby, trivializes and degrades human lives ...