UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Abortion, potentiality, and the right to life Thiessen, Eric Paul 1987

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ABORTION, POTENTIALITY, AND THE RIGHT TO L I F E By ERIC PAUL THIESSEN .A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o lumbia, 1979 L.B., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o lumbia, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of P h i l o s o p h y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1987 (c) E r i c P a u l T h i e s s e n , 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writ ten permission. ERIC THIESSEN Department of PHTI n^RPHy  The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 D a t e JULY 7, 1987 DE-6G/81) i i ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s i s about p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y and the r i g h t t o l i f e . I t i s an attempt t o d i s t i l l the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n i n t o i t s s t r o n g e s t i n c a r n a t i o n i n o r d e r t o see what i t has t o o f f e r . In Chapter I v a r i o u s a t t e m p t s t o d i s c r e d i t p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y a r e examined. P a r t i c u l a r emphasis i s p l a c e d on M i c h a e l T o o l e y ' s d e f e n s e of a b o r t i o n and i n f a n t i c i d e and h i s c r i t i q u e of p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y . I t i s c o n c l u d e d t h a t a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n need not l e a d t o any o b v i o u s a b s u r d i t y , and can r e s i s t the charge of p h i l o s o p h i c a l a r b i t r a r i n e s s . Thus, the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n i s a l e g i t i m a t e c o n t e n d e r i n the r i g h t t o l i f e d i s p u t e . I n Chapter I I , we ask the q u e s t i o n whether the p o t e n t i a l t o become a person i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , or i s a c t u a l personhood n e c e s s a r y ? V a r i o u s attempted r e s o l u t i o n s a r e c o n s i d e r e d and r e j e c t e d . I t i s c o n c l u d e d t h a t the i s s u e i s s t i l l q u i t e d e b a t e a b l e but t h a t some sup p o r t f o r the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n can be found i n a Rawls - t y p e v a l i d a t i o n p r o c e d u r e . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I . THE INTEGRITY OF POTENTIALITY 5 A. D e f i n i t i o n s , p r e m i s e s and b a s i c c o n c e p t s 5 B. Persons and the r i g h t t o l i f e . . . . 7 C. P o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s and the r i g h t t o l i f e 9 D. T o o l e y ' s program and s t r a t e g y 11 E. Systems 15 1. The macro-view of systems 15 2. P o t e n t i a l i t y and p o s s i b i l i t y ....19 3. The m i c r o - v i e w of systems 24 F. P o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood: why c o n c e p t i o n ? . . . . 3 2 G. P r e v e n t a t i v e a c t s 39 H. T o o l e y ' s moral symmetry p r i n c i p l e 43 I . R i g h t s and d e s i r e s 49 CHAPTER I I . POTENTIALITY OR ACTUALITY? 57 A. The Feinberg/Benn a n a l y s i s 57 B. Developed or undeveloped c a p a c i t y ? 62 1. P o t e n t i a l i t y i n f o c u s 66 C. R a t i o n a l methods 78 D. A b o r t i o n and the Golden Rule 89 E. C l o s i n g remarks 94 NOTES 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 04 I V ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would l i k e t o thank P r o f . E a r l R. W i n k l e r and P r o f . John P. Stewart f o r t h e i r c o n s t r u c t i v e c r i t i c i s m and h e l p f u l comments. 1 INTRODUCTION There i s a p o s i t i o n taken by many p h i l o s o p h e r s concerned w i t h the a b o r t i o n i s s u e t h a t i s g e n e r a l l y known as the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n . T h i s t h e s i s i s about the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n and the c h a l l e n g e t h a t i t poses t o much of the c u r r e n t p h i l o s o p h i c a l thought about a b o r t i o n . I t a t t e m p t s t o d i s t i l l the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n i n t o i t s s t r o n g e s t i n c a r n a t i o n i n o r d e r t o see what i t has t o o f f e r . There w i l l be no attempt t o conduct a su r v e y of the v a r i o u s i n f l u e n t i a l p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s . As the t i t l e of the t h e s i s i n d i c a t e s , the focus of the d i s c u s s i o n w i l l be on the r i g h t t o l i f e . However, t h e r e w i l l be no e x t e n s i v e d i s c o u r s e on r i g h t s t h e o r y . R i g h t s w i l l be i n t r o d u c e d i n a g e n e r a l way w i t h o u t any s p e c i a l or p r e c i s e a n a l y s i s of the meaning of t h i s c o n c e p t , except as f o l l o w s : I f A has a r i g h t t o x, then o t h e r s have an o b l i g a t i o n not t o d e p r i v e A of x u n l e s s A waives or f o r f e i t s t h a t r i g h t . The approach c o n c e n t r a t i n g on the r i g h t t o l i f e i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from two o t h e r approaches t h a t a re commonly taken i n t h i s a r e a . To say t h a t A has the r i g h t t o l i f e i s t o say something s t r o n g e r than t h a t i t i s m o r a l l y wrong t o k i l l A. For example, i t i s commonly h e l d t h a t i t i s wrong t o l i e ; however, i n o n l y a few ( c a r e f u l l y c i r c u m s c r i b e d ) s i t u a t i o n s i s i t h e l d t h a t i t i s one's r i g h t not t o be l i e d t o . To say t h a t human f e t u s e s do not have the r i g h t t o l i f e 2 i s t o say something s t r o n g e r and s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from s a y i n g t h a t a b o r t i o n s s h o u l d be p e r m i t t e d as a matter of s o c i a l p o l i c y . I t i s open f o r someone t o embrace the m o r a l r i g h t y e t deny the s o c i a l / l e g a l r i g h t t o l i f e . For example, A may have the r i g h t t o own h i s p r o p e r t y , y e t A's p r o p e r t y may n e v e r t h e l e s s be e x p r o p r i a t e d f o r o v e r r i d i n g s o c i a l / l e g a l p o l i c y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , even i f i t t u r n s out t h a t p r e n a t e s have a r i g h t t o l i f e , the a b o r t i o n i s s u e remains d i s p u t a b l e f o r t h o s e who would argue t h a t the m a t e r n a l r i g h t t o b o d i l y s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n or i n t e g r i t y o utweighs the p r e n a t a l r i g h t t o l i f e . I t w i l l not be p a r t of the t a s k of t h i s t h e s i s t o a s s e s s a b o r t i o n from a s o c i a l p o l i c y v i e w p o i n t . We are c o n c e r n e d w i t h the m o r a l r i g h t t o l i f e i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , not w i t h the c o m p e t i t i o n of r i g h t s and t h e i r consequent m o r a l dilemmas. I t w i l l be my s t r a t e g y t o e x p l o r e r a t h e r than t o p r e s e n t . That i s , I w i l l seek as much as p o s s i b l e t o i l l u s t r a t e s t r e n g t h s and i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e s of a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n by d e f e n d i n g i t a g a i n s t i n f l u e n t i a l c r i t i q u e s , r a t h e r than by p r e s e n t i n g some d e f i n i t i v e f o r m u l a t i o n of the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n and p r o c e e d i n g t o e l a b o r a t e on i t . T h i s format, I r e a l i z e , c a r r i e s w i t h i t the danger of d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n and d i g r e s s i o n w hich I hope t o have m i n i m i z e d . The demeanor of t h e n a r r a t i v e i s n e i t h e r t h a t of a proponent nor opponent of the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n , but r a t h e r one of i n v e s t i g a t i o n and 3 e x p l o r a t i o n . The s p i r i t of the t h e s i s i s , i n a n u t s h e l l , what would the i d e a l , r a t i o n a l , s e n s i t i v e , w e l l - i n f o r m e d person have t o say about a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n and the c h a l l e n g e s i t p r e s e n t s t o t h e o r e t i c i a n s on the m o r a l i t y of a b o r t i o n ? The i n s p i r a t i o n f o r t h i s t h e s i s d e r i v e d from doubt I had about a paper w r i t t e n by M i c h a e l T o o l e y 1 . My e n t i r e f i r s t c h a p t e r and much of my second c o u l d be viewed as a polemic t o t h a t paper. In Chapter One we examine v a r i o u s a t t e m p t s t o a s s a i l p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y as l e a d i n g t o a b s u r d i t y or p h i l o s o p h i c a l a r b i t r a r i n e s s . I n p a r t i c u l a r , we examine M i c h a e l T o o l e y ' s attempt t o show: D t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t must, out of c o n s i s t e n c y , s u p p o r t the p r o h i b i t i o n of a r t i f i c i a l c o n t r a c e p t i o n ; 2) t h e moral e q u i v a l e n c e of a b o r t i o n and a b s t i n e n c e from p r o c r e a t i v e s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s ; and 3) t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t ' s use of the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a r b i t r a r y . We undertake an i n q u i r y as t o the h i s t o r i c a l meaning of the c oncept of p o t e n t i a l i t y i n p h i l o s o p h y . We examine the n o t i o n t h a t , when t a l k i n g about the p o t e n t i a l f o r personhood, we can o n l y p r o p e r l y t a l k i n terms of v a r y i n g degrees of p o t e n t i a l i t y . We p r e s e n t a r e s o l u t i o n t o the problems e n c o u n t e r e d w i t h the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y , as a p p l i e d t o the a b o r t i o n i s s u e , w h i c h shows the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t ' s c l a i m s about 4 p o t e n t i a l i t y t o be f u n d a m e n t a l l y sound. I t i s c o n c l u d e d t h a t the i n t e g r i t y of a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n can be s e c u r e d , and thus t h a t the p o s i t i o n i s e m i n e n t l y t e n a b l e . In Chapter Two, we ask the q u e s t i o n whether the p o t e n t i a l t o become a person i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e o r , a l t e r n a t i v e l y , whether a c t u a l personhood i s n e c e s s a r y ? I t i s suggested t h a t much of the c o n f u s i o n s u r r o u n d i n g the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n d e r i v e s from the v a r i o u s and d i v e r s e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of " p o t e n t i a l i t y " . The q u e s t i o n of concern i s narrowed t o whether undeveloped or dev e l o p e d g e n e t i c c a p a c i t y f o r v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s n e c e s s a r y f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . I t i s c o n c l u d e d t h a t the i s s u e i s s t i l l q u i t e d e b a t e a b l e but t h a t some su p p o r t f o r the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n can be found i n a Rawls-type v a l i d a t i o n p r o c e d u r e . 5 CHAPTER I  THE INTEGRITY OF POTENTIALITY A. D e f i n i t i o n s , p r e m i s e s , and b a s i c c o n c e p t s A b o r t i o n r e f e r s t o the d e l i b e r a t e k i l l i n g of the human f e t u s . The f e t u s , u n l e s s o t h e r w i s e s p e c i f i e d , r e f e r s t o any human b e i n g i n e i t h e r the f e t a l , embryonic, o r z y g o t a l s t a g e s of human development. A human b e i n g r e f e r s t o a 2 member of the s p e c i e s homo s a p i e n s . 'Person* r e f e r s t o a b e i n g which d i s p l a y s h i g h e r - o r d e r s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s such as s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , r a t i o n a l i t y , and m o r a l agency. Note, we a r e here e n t e r t a i n i n g a somewhat n o n a n t h r o p o c e n t r i c view of 'person'. C o n s e q u e n t l y , p e r s o n s c o u l d be i n t e l l i g e n t b e i n g s from o t h e r p l a n e t s , g e n e t i c a l l y e n g i n e e r e d o f f s h o o t s of human b e i n g s , 3 or even perhaps some h i g h e r - o r d e r a n i m a l s . However, on t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , human f e t u s e s , n eonates, and some i n f a n t s are c l e a r l y not p e r s o n s . Persons undoubtedly have the r i g h t t o l i f e . Whether any non-persons have the r i g h t t o l i f e i s a ma t t e r f o r d i s p u t e . Any d i s t i n c t i o n which p u r p o r t s t o s e p a r a t e b e i n g s h a v i n g the r i g h t t o l i f e from t h o s e which do not must be based on m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e s . A d i f f e r e n c e i n s p e c i e s i s not per se a m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , i f f o r example, v i a b i l i t y of the f e t u s i s 6 proposed as a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , t hen i t must a l s o count f o r c a t f e t u s e s , dog f e t u s e s e t c . , as w e l l as f o r human f e t u s e s . S i m i l a r l y , the c o l o u r of one's s k i n i s c l e a r l y not a m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e , 5 merely a p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e . P h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s per se, u n l e s s shown t o c o n s t i t u t e , or t o be c o r r e l a t e d w i t h , p r o p e r t i e s of moral i m p o r t , a r e not n o r m a l l y s u f f i c i e n t t o ground a case f o r the d e n i a l of moral r i g h t s . 7 B. Persons and the r i g h t t o l i f e Some p h i l o s o p h e r s , n o t a b l y M i c h a e l T o o l e y , argue t h a t the v e r y p r o p e r t i e s which d i s t i n g u i s h p e r s o n s from non-per s o n s c o n s t i t u t e the m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e s needed t o s e p a r a t e those b e i n g s which have the r i g h t t o l i f e from t h o s e which do n o t . That i s , o n l y persons have the r i g h t t o l i f e . On t h i s v i e w , the c o n s t i t u t i n g c o n d i t i o n f o r bei n g a pe r s o n i s the a b i l i t y t o c o n c e i v e of o n e s e l f as a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e i . e . , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Without s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s a hos t of moral n o t i o n s become p o i n t l e s s t o a t t r i b u t e . There can be no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r one's a c t i o n s , no f u l f i l l m e n t of o b l i g a t i o n s towards o t h e r s . In the words of L a r r y L. Thomas--"...a s e l f - c o n s c i o u s b e i n g i s one which has the c a p a c i t y (a) to, i d e n t i f y w i t h the p a s t , p r e s e n t , and f u t u r e s t a g e s of i t s e l f , (b) t o make dat e d judgment, and (c) t o form i n t e n t i o n s . And a b e i n g must have t h e s e c a p a c i t i e s i n o r d e r t o be a moral a g e n t . . . " . ^ The p o s s i b i l i t y of moral agency depends e n t i r e l y on the e x i s t e n c e of a r e f l e x i v e s e l f . What sense does i t make t o a t t r i b u t e agency t o a r o c k , p l a n t , or f r o g ? Only persons can c o n c e i v e of what a J l i f e ' i s and the m i s f o r t u n e of d e a t h . T h e r e f o r e , what sense can t h e r e be i n 7 g r a n t i n g the r i g h t t o l i f e t o o t h e r s i n c a p a b l e of r e s p e c t i n g the v e r y t h i n g they a r e t o be grac e d w i t h ? The u n d e r p i n n i n g of any r i g h t t o l i f e must be the c a p a c i t y t o know what a l i f e as a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e s i s , 8 and c o n s e q u e n t l y t o u n d e r s t a n d what the t e r m i n a t i o n of l i f e i m p l i e s f o r o n e s e l f and o t h e r 1 s e l v e s ' . T h i s then i s the extreme l i b e r a l p o s i t i o n . Most l i b e r a l s on a b o r t i o n , however, modify t h e i r p o s i t i o n s (make e x c e p t i o n s ) i n such a way so as t o e x t e n d the r i g h t t o l i f e t o the comatose, the d e b i l i t a t e d o l d e t c . We w i l l c o n s i d e r M i c h a e l T o o l e y ' s e x c e p t i o n s a t some l e n g t h l a t e r on. 9 C. P o t e n t i a l p ersons and the r i g h t t o l i f e The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t , when he l o o k s a t the s u c c e s s i v e d e v e l o p m e n t a l s t a g e s t h a t human b e i n g s undergo, f i n d s no m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between c o n s e c u t i v e s t a g e s which c o u l d account f o r a r i g h t t o l i f e where none e x i s t e d b e f o r e . Human be i n g s do not i n one g r e a t sweep come t o p o s s e s s the v a l u a b l e h i g h e r - o r d e r s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s d e f i n i n g personhood; r a t h e r , they undergo a g r a d u a l , p c o n t i n u o u s p r o c e s s of f u l f i l l m e n t of t h e i r human p o t e n t i a l . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t p o i n t s t o the commonly h e l d view t h a t the t r a g e d y of i n f a n t i l e d e a t h l i e s i n the u n f u l f i l l m e n t of human p o t e n t i a l . He a s s e r t s t h a t the wrongness of murder l i e s not i n the q u a l i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l k i l l e d but i n the p o t e n t i a l d e n i e d . Thus he p o i n t s t o a n o t h e r commonly h e l d view t h a t death when i t comes t o i n d i v i d u a l s a t the end of t h e i r n a t u r a l l i f e s p a n who have " l i v e d t h e i r l i v e s t o the f u l l e s t " i s no g r e a t t r a g e d y . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t c l a i m s t h a t the f o r m a t i o n of the human z y g o t e ( c o n c e p t i o n ) marks the b e g i n n i n g of the p o t e n t i a l t o become a pers o n . T h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y c o n s t i t u t e s the m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e which a c c o u n t s f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e where none e x i s t e d b e f o r e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , many p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s h o l d as a b a s i c t e n e t t h a t k i l l i n g a b e i n g which has the p o t e n t i a l t o become a pers o n i s of the same l e v e l of moral s e r i o u s n e s s as g t h a t of k i l l i n g an a c t u a l p e r s o n . 10 The p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n has come under a t t a c k from many q u a r t e r s . F i r s t , we w i l l examine the l i n e of a t t a c k which c o n s i s t s i n q u e s t i o n i n g the b a s i c i n t e g r i t y of the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n . Opponents from t h i s q u a r t e r argue t h a t the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y as a p p l i e d t o the a b o r t i o n i s s u e i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a r b i t r a r y and l e a d s t o a b s u r d i t y . An i n f l u e n t i a l and i n s t r u c t i v e c r i t i q u e a l o n g these l i n e s i s c o n t a i n e d i n M i c h a e l T o o l e y ' s " I n Defense of A b o r t i o n and I n f a n t i c i d e " . 1 0 11 D. T o o l e y ' s program and s t r a t e g y P o t e n t i a l i t y P r i n c i p l e ( P . P . ) ; There i s a p r o p e r t y , even i f one i s unable t o s p e c i f y what i t i s , t h a t ( i ) i s p o s s e s s e d by a d u l t humans, and, ( i i ) endows any organism p o s s e s s i n g i t w i t h a s e r i o u s r i g h t t o l i f e . I f t h e r e a r e p r o p e r t i e s which s a t i s f y ( i ) and ( i i ) above, a t l e a s t one of those p r o p e r t i e s w i l l be such t h a t any organism p o t e n t i a l l y p o s s e s s i n g t h a t p r o p e r t y has a s e r i o u s r i g h t t o l i f e even now, s i m p l y by v i r t u e of t h a t p o t e n t i a l i t y , where an organism p o s s e s s e s a p r o p e r t y p o t e n t i a l l y i f i t w i l l come t o bave t h a t p r o p e r t y i n the normal c o u r s e of i t s development. M o d i f i e d P o t e n t i a l i t y P r i n c i p l e d . P . P . ) ; I f t h e r e are p r o p e r t i e s p o s s e s s e d by normal a d u l t human b e i n g s which endow any organism p o s s e s s i n g them w i t h a r i g h t t o l i f e , then a t l e a s t one of those p r o p e r t i e s i s such t h a t i t i s  s e r i o u s l y wrong t o k i l l any organism t h a t p o t e n t i a l l y p o s s e s s e s t h a t ^ p r o p e r t y , s i m p l y i n v i r t u e of t h a t p o t e n t i a l i t y . G e n e r a l i z e d P o t e n t i a l i t y P r i n c i p l e ( G . P . P . ) ; I f t h e r e are any p r o p e r t i e s p o s s e s s e d by normal a d u l t human bei n g s which endow any organism p o s s e s s i n g them w i t h a r i g h t t o l i f e , then a t l e a s t one of t h o s e p r o p e r t i e s i s such t h a t i t i s  s e r i o u s l y wrong t o p e r f o r m any a c t i o n t h a t w i l l p r e v e n t some system, which o t h e r w i s e would have developed the p r o p e r t y , from d e v e l o p i n g the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n . I t i s T o o l e y ' s s t r a t e g y t o f o r c e anyone who a c c e p t s P.P. t o a c c e p t , i n t u r n , both M.P.P. and G.P.P. Once he maneuvers us i n t o a c c e p t i n g G.P.P., T o o l e y ' s broader argument f o r a b o r t i o n and i n f a n t i c i d e i s g r e a t l y s t r e n g t h e n e d . L e t us f i r s t examine the s t e p from P.P. t o M.P.P. At f i r s t g l a n c e , t h e r e does not seem t o be much of a d i f f e r e n c e between P.P. and M.P.P. M.P.P. i s weaker than P.P. and i s (as one might e x p e c t ) e a s i e r t o defend. M.P.P. en a b l e s the proponent t o c i r c u m v e n t the complex problem of g i v i n g an account of the r i g h t s of organisms which a r e not 12 persons.^" 4 Note, P.P. c l a i m s a r i g h t t o l i f e where M.P.P. c l a i m s the wrongness of k i l l i n g organisms which possess th e p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r whichever p r o p e r t i e s endow an organism w i t h the r i g h t t o l i f e . Hence, one c o u l d abandon the c l a i m t h a t the f e t u s has a r i g h t t o l i f e , but s t i l l m a i n t a i n t h a t i t i s s e r i o u s l y wrong t o k i l l i t . Moreover, one c o u l d s t i l l m a i n t a i n a concept of personhood which r e q u i r e s a h i g h l e v e l of mental development w i t h o u t g i v i n g ground t o the p r o -a b o r t i o n p o s i t i o n . F r i g h t e n e d by the p r o s p e c t of i n f a n t i c i d e , t h e r e i s a t e m p t a t i o n among many p h i l o s o p h e r s t o tbend over backwards' t o accommodate l o w - l e v e l n o t i o n s of personhood. Tooley argues t h a t P.P. cannot be c o r r e c t u n l e s s M.P.P. i s . For our purposes , T o o l e y ' s c l a i m i n t h i s r e g a r d w i l l not be c o n t e s t e d . T o o l e y c l a i m s t h a t i f one a c c e p t s M.P.P. one "ought" a l s o t o a c c e p t G.P.P. I t becomes a matter of p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n s i s t e n c y f o r a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o a c c e p t G.P.P., a c c o r d i n g t o T o o l e y . In T o o l e y ' s mind t h e r e are o n l y two s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s between M.P.P. and G.P.P. F i r s t , G.P.P. d e a l s w i t h systems r a t h e r than s i n g l e organisms. S e c o n d l y , G.P.P. d e a l s not o n l y w i t h a c t i o n s which i n v o l v e the p h y s i c a l d e s t r u c t i o n of a c t u a l organisms produced by systems, but a c t i o n s which i n v o l v e p r e v e n t i n g systems from p r o d u c i n g such organisms. I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e c o g n i z e how much t u r n s on t h e s e two d i f f e r e n c e s , f o r the consequences of t h i s m o d i f i c a t i o n a r e momentous. For example, the p r a c t i c e 13 of c o n t r a c e p t i o n and perhaps even m a s t u r b a t i o n now become m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o murder. The t a c t i c i s t o reduce the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n t o an a b s u r d i t y . However, i t s h o u l d be c o n s t a n t l y kept i n mind th r o u g h o u t the f o l l o w i n g pages t h a t i t i s Tooley who must demonstrate t h a t the m o d i f i c a t i o n s he proposes t o the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n are r e a s o n a b l e — ones t h a t someone persuaded of M.P.P. would i n c o n s i s t e n c y have t o a c c e p t . S i n c e the passage which c o n t a i n s T o o l e y ' s argument f o r a c c e p t i n g the above m o d i f i c a t i o n s of M.P.P. p l a y s such a p i v o t a l r o l e i n the development of t h i s c h a p t e r , I p r e s e n t i t i n i t s e n t i r e t y : T h i s g e n e r a l i z e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e d i f f e r s from the o r i g i n a l and the m o d i f i e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e s i n two r e s p e c t s . F i r s t , i t a p p l i e s t o systems of o b j e c t s , and not m erely t o organisms. I t h i n k t h a t t h i s f i r s t g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s one t h a t ought t o be a c c e p t e d by anyone who a c c e p t s e i t h e r the o r i g i n a l or the m o d i f i e d p r i n c i p l e . For why s h o u l d i t make any d i f f e r e n c e whether the p o t e n t i a l i t y r e s i d e s i n a s i n g l e organism, or i n a system of organisms t h a t a r e so i n t e r r e l a t e d t h a t t h e y w i l l i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s , due t o the o p e r a t i o n of n a t u r a l l a w s , c a u s a l l y g i v e r i s e t o something t h a t p o s s e s s e s the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n ? S u r e l y i t i s o n l y t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r a c e r t a i n outcome t h a t m a t t e r s , and not whether t h e r e a r e one or more o b j e c t s i n t e r a c t i n g and d e v e l o p i n g i n a p r e d e t e r m i n e d way t o produce t h a t outcome. The second d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t the o r i g i n a l and m o d i f i e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e s d e a l o n l y w i t h the d e s t r u c t i o n of o r g a n i s m s , w h i l e the g e n e r a l i z e d p r i n c i p l e d e a l s w i t h any a c t i o n t h a t p r e v e n t s an o r g a nism, or a system from d e v e l o p i n g the r e l e v a n t p r o p e r t y . I t h i n k t h a t the c o n s e r v a t i v e on a b o r t i o n would c e r t a i n l y want t o a c c e p t t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . For suppose t h a t by e x p o s i n g a human zygote t o a p p r o p r i a t e r a d i a t i o n one c o u l d t r a n s f o r m i t i n t o a f r o g z y g o t e . A woman c o u l d then e n j o y a two-step a b o r t i o n : f i r s t the human z y g o t e would be t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a f r o g z y g o t e , and then the f r o g z y g o t e would be d e s t r o y e d . Assuming t h a t one does not view the d e s t r u c t i o n of a f r o g 1 4 z y g o t e as s e r i o u s l y wrong, one must e i t h e r h o l d t h a t i t i s s e r i o u s l y wrong or e l s e c o n c l u d e t h a t the two-step a b o r t i o n t e c h n i q u e i s m o r a l l y p e r m i s s i b l e . The l a t t e r o p t i o n would not appear t o be a v i a b l e one f o r the c o n s e r v a t i v e . For why s h o u l d i t be m o r a l l y p e r m i s s i b l e t o d e s t r o y a human organism i n two s t e p s , one which l i m i t s i t s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s , and the o t h e r of which d e s t r o y s the r e s u l t i n g o r g anism, but s e r i o u s l y wrong t o c o l l a p s e t h e s e t o s t e p s i n t o one, l i m i t i n g i t s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s and d e s t r o y i n g i t by a s i n g l e a c t i o n ? I t h i n k t h a t an advocate of the extreme c o n s e r v a t i v e view,of a b o r t i o n would agree t h a t t h e r e i s not s i g n i f i c a n t moral d i s t i n c t i o n h e r e , and t h u s would accept the second g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n the expanded p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e . And i n a f o o t n o t e T o o l e y r e m a r k s — I t i s i m p o r t a n t here not t o c o n f u s e p o t e n t i a l i t i e s w i t h mere p o s s i b i l i t i e s . The g e n e r a l i z e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e does not d e a l w i t h c o l l e c t i o n s of o b j e c t s t h a t merely have the c a p a c i t y t o d e v e l o p i n c e r t a i n ways. The o b j e c t s must a l r e a d y be i n t e r r e l a t e d i n such a way t h a t i n the absence of e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e the laws g o v e r n i n g t h e i r f u t u r e i n t e r a c t i o n and development w i l l b r i n g i t about t h a t the system w i l l d e v e l o p the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n . 15 E. Systems 1. The macro-view of systems B e f o r e we can e v a l u a t e t h e r e a s o n a b l e n e s s of T o o l e y ' s argument f o r expanding the scope of M.P.P. t o i n c l u d e systems, we must f i r s t g a i n a p r o p e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of what e x a c t l y c o n s t i t u t e s a 'system'. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , we run i n t o d i f f i c u l t y i m m e d i a t e l y i n t h i s r e g a r d . F o r , T o o l e y uses ^system' ambiguously. The a m b i g u i t y a r i s e s i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between 'the system' and 'the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n ' . At t i m e s T o o l e y t a l k s about "the system d e v e l o p i n g the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n " , and a t o t h e r t i m e s he t a l k s about "the system c a u s a l l y g i v i n g r i s e t o something which w i l l d e v e l o p the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n " . There i s an i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the two. In the former case i t i s the system i t s e l f which d e v e l o p s the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n and i n the l a t t e r case i t i s something t h a t the system produces which has the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n ( h e r e a f t e r 1 7 r e f e r r e d t o as P ) . The f o l l o w i n g a n a l o g y w i l l , I hope, f u r t h e r i l l u m i n a t e the a m b i g u i t y . C o n s i d e r an a u t o m o b i l e m a n u f a c t u r i n g p l a n t , i t s w o r k e r s , i t s machinery, and the a u t o m o b i l e s produced by the workers and the machinery. L e t Q be the p r o p e r t y of 'having been d r i v e n 50,000 kms.'. The p l a n t i s the system composed of workers and machinery which produce t h i n g s which have the p o t e n t i a l t o have Q. The p l a n t can not p r o p e r l y be s a i d t o have Q, nor can the workers or machinery be p r o p e r l y 16 s a i d t o have Q. Of c o u r s e , t h i s example i s not c o m p l e t e l y analogous t o the i s s u e a t hand. F o r , the p a r e n t s of a c h i l d can be s a i d t o i n d i v i d u a l l y p o s s e s s the p r o p e r t y P. But does i t make sense t o speak of the system composed of both p a r e n t s having or d e v e l o p i n g P? To b e t t e r i l l u s t r a t e t h e d i f f i c u l t y here c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g . C o n s i d e r my p a r e n t s b e f o r e my c o n c e p t i o n , j u s t a f t e r my c o n c e p t i o n , and myself a t t h i s moment. Now, presumably, we can c o n s i d e r my p a r e n t s b e f o r e my c o n c e p t i o n a system, c a l l i t Sb. C l e a r l y , each one of my p a r e n t s , c o n s i d e r e d i n d i v i d u a l l y , has P. Does the system Sb have P? L e t us assume f o r the moment t h a t Sb has P? I f Sb has P then the i s s u e a t hand seems t o d i s s o l v e , i . e . i f Sb has P ( b e f o r e my c o n c e p t i o n ) , t h e n , c l e a r l y , my p a r e n t s c o u l d not have been found g u i l t y of v i o l a t i n g G.P.P. even i f they had used a r t i f i c i a l c o n t r a c e p t i o n . F o r , q u i t e o b v i o u s l y , the c o n t r a c e p t i o n would not have p r e v e n t e d Sb from a c q u i r i n g P-- i t a l r e a d y had P. Hence, we must c o n c l u d e then t h a t Sb d i d not have P ( b e f o r e my c o n c e p t i o n ) . Then we s h o u l d a s k — how and when d i d Sb a c q u i r e P? C o n s i d e r the system composed of my p a r e n t s and m y s e l f j u s t a f t e r my c o n c e p t i o n , c a l l i t Sa. F i r s t we must a s k — a r e Sb and Sa the same system? I f n o t , then i t seems as i f a system t h a t l a c k s P can never a c q u i r e P. Hence, Sa and Sb a r e t h e same system-- o r , more p r o p e r l y , d i f f e r e n t s t a g e s of the same system S. F u r t h e r more, I , the f e t u s , am p a r t of the system S(but o n l y when 17 stage Sa began of c o u r s e ) . C l e a r l y , Sa does not y e t have P. C o n s i d e r the system composed of my p a r e n t s and myself now, c a l l i t Sn. Now we must a s k — i s Sn, a l o n g w i t h Sa and Sb, a stage of the same system S? I f n o t , t h e n , once a g a i n , i t seems as i f a system t h a t l a c k s P can never a c q u i r e P. Hence Sa, Sb, and Sn a r e s t a g e s of the same system S. S u r e l y now, a t stage Sn, we must be a b l e t o say t h a t S has P. But, l e t us c a r e f u l l y c o n s i d e r what i s b e i n g c l a i m e d h e r e . At Sb, my p a r e n t s , two a d u l t human b e i n g s , c o u l d not p r o p e r l y be s a i d t o have P when c o n s i d e r e d as a c o l l e c t i o n of two p e r s o n s . However, a t Sn, my p a r e n t s and I , t h r e e a d u l t human b e i n g s can now p r o p e r l y be s a i d t o have P when c o n s i d e r e d as a c o l l e c t i o n of t h r e e p e r s o n s ? S u r e l y t h e r e i s something amiss h e r e . I t does not seem t o make sense t o speak of any c o l l e c t i o n of two or more per s o n s as h a v i n g P. C l e a r l y , i t w i l l not do t o t a l k l o o s e l y about systems a s , I b e l i e v e , T o o l e y i s g u i l t y of d o i n g . When c o n s i d e r e d i n the l i g h t of our p a s t d i s c u s s i o n , G.P.P. does not make sense. I t i s not the system which d e v e l o p s P; r a t h e r , i t i s the organism which the system produces t h a t d e v e l o p s P. Now we a r e i n a b e t t e r p o s i t i o n t o a s s e s s T o o l e y ' s argument f o r expanding the scope o f M.P.P. t o i n c l u d e systems. R e c a l l , T o o l e y ' s argument f o r systems was t h a t : i ) i t i s o n l y the p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r a c e r t a i n outcome t h a t m a t t e r s — i . e . f o r an organism t h a t has P; i i ) a system as w e l l as a f e t u s can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as an o b j e c t d e v e l o p i n g 18 i n a p r e d e t e r m i n e d way t o produce t h a t outcome; i i i ) whether t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r P r e s i d e s i n a s i n g l e organism or i n a system, does not amount t o a m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e ; hence, i v ) M.P.P. s h o u l d be expanded t o a p p l y t o systems. At f i r s t g l a n c e t h i s seems a p e r s u a s i v e argument in d e e d . However, we s h o u l d b e g i n our e v a l u a t i o n of t h i s argument by i n q u i r i n g whether the p o t e n t i a l i t y of " p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r a c e r t a i n outcome" i s the same p o t e n t i a l i t y t h a t i s p r e d i c a t e d of e x i s t e n t t h i n g s , i . e . a p o t e n t i a l i t y which i n h e r e s i n an a c t u a l organism and i s r e a l i z e d t h r ough c a u s a l p r o c e s s . In s h o r t , i s Tooley g u i l t y of an e q u i v o c a t i o n on " p o t e n t i a l i t y " ? R e g a r d i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n I am reminded of an a n e c d o t e : John and Joe are s t a n d i n g on a b r i d g e . Joe i s showing John a l o t t e r y t i c k e t which he had purchased e a r l i e r . J o hn, h a v i n g never seen a l o t t e r y t i c k e t b e f o r e , grabs the t i c k e t t o t a k e a c l o s e r l o o k , but j u s t as he grabs i t a sudden gust of wind blows the t i c k e t i n t o the water below, Joe y e l l s a t John-- "You j u s t l o s t me a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s ! " . The p o i n t i s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l p r o c r e a t i v e a c t s of s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e a r e ( i n a sense) l i k e b u y ing l o t t e r y t i c k e t s . The p o t e n t i a l outcome of b u y i n g the l o t t e r y t i c k e t i s w i n n i n g a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . The p o t e n t i a l outcome of the sex a c t i s the c r e a t i o n of a p e r s o n . Whether t h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y can be r e a l i z e d i s dependent on some f u t u r e event beyond the c o n t r o l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s . In the case of the l o t t e r y t i c k e t , t h i s event 19 i s h a v i n g one's number p i c k e d . I f John's number had a l r e a d y been p i c k e d then we would not t h i n k him u n r e a s o n a b l e f o r t r e a t i n g h i s t i c k e t l i k e a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . Note, even i f h i s number has been p i c k e d the t i c k e t may be l o s t , s t o l e n , e t c . , hence the t i c k e t s t i l l o n l y r e p r e s e n t s a p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r g e t t i n g a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s b u t , once p i c k e d , the p o t e n t i a l i t y i s such t h a t i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s i t w i l l be r e a l i z e d . In the case of a p r o c r e a t i v e sex a c t , the event i s c o n c e p t i o n . However, even i f a c h i l d i s c o n c e i v e d , c l e a r l y t h e r e a r e t h i n g s t h a t can happen which w i l l p r e v e n t i t from becoming a p e r s o n , but the p o t e n t i a l i t y i s such t h a t i n the normal c o u r s e of e v e n t s , w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e , i t s p o t e n t i a l w i l l be r e a l i z e d . The l o t t e r y a n a l o g y suggests t h a t i t o n l y becomes r e a s o n a b l e t o t r e a t a t h i n g as h a v i n g some of the r i g h t s of a p e r s o n when an event o c c u r s such t h a t t h a t t h i n g i n the 1 8 normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s w i l l come t o be a p e r s o n . 2. P o t e n t i a l i t y and p o s s i b i l i t y The concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y q u i t e n a t u r a l l y d e s e r v e s c a r e f u l a t t e n t i o n and s c r u t i n y . T o o l e y ' s attempt t o maneuver the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t i n t o expanding the scope of any p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e or p o s i t i o n t o i n c l u d e systems c a l l s i n t o q u e s t i o n our u s u a l i n t u i t i o n s about p o t e n t i a l i t y , f o r i t i s i n t u i t i v e l y c l e a r what i t means f o r a f e t u s or neonate t o have the p o t e n t i a l f o r personhood. But when the 20 p o t e n t i a l f o r personhood i s p r e d i c a t e d of something o t h e r than an i n d i v i d u a l organism we, q u i t e n a t u r a l l y , must f e e l uneasy. T o o l e y wants t o f o r c e the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o say t h a t any a c t i o n which p r e v e n t s t h e c o n c e p t i o n of a c h i l d i s m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o a b o r t i n g a f e t u s or k i l l i n g an i n f a n t . They a r e m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t because both t h e i r i n t e n t i o n and outcome i s the same-- they p r e v e n t a person from coming onstream. On t h i s a c c o u n t , j u s t because we can p o i n t t o a f e t u s or an i n f a n t does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t the o n l y r e l e v a n t or s i g n i f i c a n t k i n d of p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood i s t he k i n d which i n h e r e s i n e x i s t e n t t h i n g s . At t h i s stage i n our d i s c u s s i o n i t w i l l be u s e f u l t o b r i e f l y i n v e s t i g a t e the t r a d i t i o n a l usage of ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' i n p h i l o s o p h y . What emerges i s t h a t ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' has h i s t o r i c a l l y been viewed as a s p e c i a l k i n d of ' p o s s i b i l i t y ' . The E n c y c l o p e d i a of P h i l o s o p h y d i s t i n g u i s h e s f i v e k i n d s of p o s s i b i l i t y : a b s o l u t e , r e l a t i v e , e p i s t e m i c , minimal p r o b a b i l i t y , and p o s s i b i l i t y as a b i l i t y . The l a t t e r has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been c a l l e d p o t e n t i a l i t y . P o s s i b i l i t y as a b i l i t y . P o s s i b i l i t y as a b i l i t y , which c o r r e s p o n d s t o A r i s t o t l e ' s p o t e n t i a l i t y , i s p e r p l e x i n g m a i n l y t o the e x t e n t t h a t the n o t i o n of a s u b j u n c t i v e c o n d i t i o n a l i s i n mind when we wonder what a man can do under c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s - - can he do twenty push-ups a f t e r t h a t b i g meal? I s i t p o s s i b l e f o r him t o do so many? Here the n o t i o n of p o s s i b i l i t y i s bound up w i t h the n o t i o n of an a b i l i t y , a c a p a c i t y , or a c a p a b i l i t y of d o i n g something under c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s . And, r o u g h l y s p e a k i n g , t o have 21 such an a b i l i t y , c a p a c i t y , or c a p a b i l i t y i s to be such t h a t i f i n c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s one were t o want, w i l l , i n t e n d , or so on t o pe r f o r m the a c t i o n i n q u e s t i o n , one would be s u c c e s s f u l i n p e r f o r m i n g i t . S i m i l a r l y , f o r i n a n i m a t e t h i n g s t o have a c e r t a i n a b i l i t y , c a p a c i t y , or even d i s p o s i t i o n i s t o be such t h a t i f under c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s some s p e c i f i c t h i n g were t o happen or be done t o i t , a p a r t i c u l a r r e s u l t ( t e r m e d the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the c a p a c i t y or d i s p o s i t i o n i n q u e s t i o n ) would o c c u r . I n g e n e r a l , t h e n , a b i l i t i e s , c a p a c i t i e s , and d i s p o s i t i o n s , though t h e r e a re im p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s among them, may be s a i d t o be d e f i n a b l e by s e n t e n c e s h a v i n g the form of s u b j u n c t i v e c o n d i t i o n a l s . A c c o r d i n g l y , t o the e x t e n t t h a t the l o g i c of sentences of t h i s k i n d i s w e l l u n d e r s t o o d , the n o t i o n of p o s s i b i l i t y as c a p a c i t y , a b i l i t y , or p r o p e n s i t y ( e i t h e r g e n e r a l l y or i n c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s ) may be s a i d t o be gone of the l e a s t p r o b l e m a t i c c a t e g o r i e s of p o s s i b i l i t y . I t w i l l be n o t i c e d t h a t the above account of p o t e n t i a l i t y does not bear d i r e c t l y on the s o r t s of q u e s t i o n s we are concerned w i t h h e r e , f o r the f e t u s i s not r e a l l y an i n a n i m a t e o b j e c t nor can i t want, w i l l , or i n t e n d t o p e r f o r m a c t i o n s . F o r t u n a t e l y , we have r e c o u r s e t o A r i s t o t l e . The k i n d of p o t e n t i a l i t y r e l e v a n t t o our d i s c u s s i o n was e x t e n s i v e l y d i s c u s s e d by A r i s t o t l e i n h i s M e t a p h y s i c s Book(?y. As we s h a l l see, i t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e t h a t the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y which p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s t r a d i t i o n a l l y u t i l i z e d e r i v e s d i r e c t l y from A r i s t o t l e . (1048b36-1049a3)We must now s p e c i f y when something i s p o t e n t i a l l y a n o ther t h i n g and when i t i s n o t ; f o r i t i s not p o t e n t i a l l y a n o t h e r a t any t i m e . For example, i s e a r t h p o t e n t i a l l y a man? No, but r a t h e r when i t has a l r e a d y become a seed, and perhaps not even t h e n . 22 1. See l a t e r , 1 0 4 9 a l l - 1 7 ( 1 0 4 9 a l l - 1 0 4 9 a l 7 ) l t i s l i k e w i s e w i t h g t h e o t h e r s i f the p r i n c i p l e of g e n e r a t i o n i s e x t e r n a l , or even i f t h i s p r i n c i p l e i s i n t h a t which i s p o t e n t i a l and n o t h i n g e x t e r n a l o b s t r u c t s i t from becoming by i t s e l f what i t can be. For example, the seed i s not y e t p o t e n t i a l l y a man; f o r i t must be p l a c e d i n something e l s e and change. And when i t i s a l r e a d y such t h a t i t can be moved by i t s own p r i n c i p l e , i t i s then p o t e n t i a l l y n a man; but p r i o r t o t h i s i t has need of another p r i n c i p l e . I t i s l i k e the e a r t h , which i s not yet p o t e n t i a l l y a s t a t u e , f o r i t needs t o be changed and become bronze. 5. That i s , the moving cause. 6. In h e a l t h and a house, which are p r o d u c t s of a r t , the moving cause of what i s p o t e n t i a l l y h e a l t h y or a house i s a r t , which i s e x t e r n a l ; but i n what i s by n a t u r e , the moving cause i s i n t h a t which i s p o t e n t i a l l y something e l s e , as i n the case of seed, which has the moving cause i n i t s e l f . 7. "By i t s e l f " i n the sense of moving c a u s e , a c t i n g on the matter i n which i t e x i s t s , l i k e a d o c t o r h e a l i n g h i m s e l f . • < 8. Combine w i t h the female m a t e r i a l p a r t . 9. I t s moving cause. 10. That i s , p r i o r t o t h i s the seed needs a n o t h e r moving p r i n c i p l e , the male must d e p o s i t i t ; and i t needs the m a t e r i a l p r i n c i p l e i n the female. (1046a32-1046a36)But " p r i v a t i o n " has many se n s e s ; f o r a t h i n g i s s ^ j d t o be d e p r i v e d (1) i f i t does not have something, .or (2) i f i t does not have what i t s h o u l d by n a t u r e have, e i t h e r (a) not a t a l l , or (b) not when by n a t u r e i t s h o u l d have i t , whether i n a c e r t a i n w a y ( f o r example, i f i t l a c k s i t e n t i r e l y ) or i n any way a t a l l . In some c a s e s , we say t h a t t h i n g s a r e d e p r i v e d i f by n a t u r e they would have something but by f o r c e they do not have i t . 11. In t h i s sense, a stone as w e l l as a man may be s a i d t o be d e p r i v e d of s i g h t . 12. In t h i s sense, a man may be s a i d t o be d e p r i v e d of s i g h t , but a stone i s not s a i d t o be d e p r i v e d of (or t o have) s i g h t . R e c a l l T o o l e y ' s d e l i n e a t i o n of p o t e n t i a l i t y : 23 For why s h o u l d i t make any d i f f e r e n c e whether the p o t e n t i a l i t y r e s i d e s i n a s i n g l e o r g a nism, or i n a system of organisms t h a t a r e so i n t e r r e l a t e d t h a t they w i l l i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s , due t o the o p e r a t i o n of n a t u r a l l a w s , c a u s a l l y g i v e r i s e t o something t h a t p o s s e s s e s the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n ? S u r e l y i t i s o n l y the p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r a c e r t a i n outcome t h a t m a t t e r s , and not whether t h e r e a r e one or more o b j e c t s i n t e r a c t i n g and d e v e l o p i n g i n a p r e d e t e r m i n e d way t o produce t h a t outcome. And a g a i n h i s f o o t n o t e — -I t i s impo r t a n t here not t o con f u s e p o t e n t i a l i t i e s w i t h mere p o s s i b i l i t i e s . The g e n e r a l i z e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e does not d e a l w i t h c o l l e c t i o n s of o b j e c t s t h a t merely have the c a p a c i t y t o d e v e l o p i n c e r t a i n ways. The o b j e c t s must a l r e a d y be i n t e r r e l a t e d i n such a way t h a t i n the absence of e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e the laws g o v e r n i n g t h e i r f u t u r e i n t e r a c t i o n and development w i l l b r i n g i t about t h a t the system w i l l d e v e l o p the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n . As we d i s c o v e r e d e a r l i e r , i t does not make sense t o 22 p r e d i c a t e p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood of macro-systems. In the above, we see To o l e y i n i t i a l l y t a l k i n g about i n h e r e n t - p o t e n t i a l i t y w i t h r e s p e c t t o systems. Then suddenly he inv o k e s o u t c o m e - p o t e n t i a l i t y . And f i n a l l y , he t o t a l l y c o n f u s e s us by t a l k i n g about "mere p o s s i b i l i t i e s " i n h i s f o o t n o t e . I t i s o f t e n the case t h a t ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' and ' p o s s i b i l i t y ' a r e used i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y . T h i s i s u n f o r t u n a t e f o r my pur p o s e s , because I hope t o demonstrate t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t can s u c c e s s f u l l y defend a n o t i o n of p o t e n t i a l i t y t h a t r e l e g a t e s o u t c o m e - p o t e n t i a l i t y t o the realm of mere p o s s i b i l i t y . T h i s r e s u l t , combined w i t h the f a i l u r e of i n h e r e n t - p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r systems, w i l l have the consequence t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t i s not f o r c e d t o ac c e p t systems as b e a r e r s of p o t e n t i a l i t y . 2 4 The t r a d i t i o n a l view of p o t e n t i a l i t y l e a v e s no room f o r doubt on the matter of what k i n d s of t h i n g s p o t e n t i a l i t y can be p r e d i c a t e d o f — o n l y e x i s t e n t t h i n g s . T o o l e y ' s i d e a of o u t c o m e - p o t e n t i a l i t y i s f o r e i g n t o the t r a d i t i o n a l view of p o t e n t i a l i t y . When T o o l e y frames h i s G.P.P. i n terms of i n h e r e n t - p o t e n t i a l i t y and advances h i s argument w i t h statements l i k e , " s u r e l y i t i s o n l y the p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r a c e r t a i n outcome t h a t m a t t e r s . " , then c l e a r l y T o o l e y i s e q u i v o c a t i n g . The ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' f o r c e r t a i n outcomes or eve n t s i s more p r o p e r l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d as the p o s s i b i l i t y of these outcomes or e v e n t s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , not o n l y can the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t now respond t o Tooley by i n s i s t i n g t h a t h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e need not be expanded t o admit p o s s i b i l i t i e s , but he may l e g i t i m a t e l y r e s i s t the charge t h a t i n so d o i n g he i s b e i n g somehow i n c o n s i s t e n t or p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a r b i t r a r y . 3. The m i c r o - v i e w of systems We w i l l now c o n s i d e r some m o d i f i e d Tooleyean f o r m u l a t i o n s . T o o l e y might w e l l a c c e p t as c o n c l u s i v e the d e m o n s t r a t i o n here put f o r t h t h a t h i s argument f o r systems(on the macro-view) does not go t h r o u g h , and c o n s e q u e n t l y he might r e f o r m u l a t e h i s G.P.P. and the s u p p o r t i n g argument t o a v o i d the problems r a i s e d t o t h i s p o i n t . Thus, we might have a m o d i f i e d G.P.P. (M.G.P.P.), something l i k e — 25 I f t h e r e a r e any p r o p e r t i e s p o s s e s s e d by normal a d u l t human b e i n g s which endow any organis m p o s s e s s i n g them w i t h a r i g h t t o l i f e , then a t l e a s t one of t h o s e p r o p e r t i e s i s such t h a t i t i s s e r i o u s l y wrong t o p e r f o r m any a c t i o n t h a t w i l l p r e v e n t some system of e n t i t i e s , t h a t a r e so i n t e r r e l a t e d t h a t t hey w i l l i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s c a u s a l l y g i v e r i s e t o something t h a t p o s s e s s e s the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n , from g i v i n g r i s e t o t h a t t h i n g . We must f i r s t a s k , what c o l l e c t i o n of e n t i t i e s c o m p r i s e s a system? I f we have one ovum and t h r e e hundred m i l l i o n spermatozoa i n c l o s e p r o x i m i t y (as i n i n t e r c o u r s e a f t e r e j a c u l a t i o n ) , do we have one system or t h r e e hundred m i l l i o n systems? The l a t t e r a l t e r n a t i v e must be r e j e c t e d s i n c e on no account would i t be the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s f o r such systems t o d e v e l o p personhood. R e c a l l , Tooley h i m s e l f s t r e s s e s the importance of m a i n t a i n i n g a d i s t i n c t i o n between p o t e n t i a l i t y and mere p o s s i b i l i t y . 'systems' on t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e would r e p r e s e n t mere p o s s i b i l i t i e s , c o n s e q u e n t l y , we a r e l e f t t o c o n s i d e r the former a l t e r n a t i v e . There are many t r o u b l i n g a s p e c t s t o the n o t i o n t h a t i t i s a s e n s i b l e a t t r i b u t i o n t o make of a system composed of one ovum and t h r e e hundred m i l l i o n spermatozoa t h a t i t i s a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . F o r one t h i n g , when such a system succeeds i n forming a z y g o t e , so much of the o r i g i n a l system ( i e . 299,999,999 spermatozoa) i s l e f t out of what e v e n t u a l l y becomes a pers o n . But l e t us f o r the moment put t h i s d i f f i c u l t y a s i d e . C o n s i d e r the f a c t t h a t i n d i v i d u a l a c t s of p r o c r e a t i v e 26 s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e have on average o n l y something l i k e a one i n e i g h t chance of r e s u l t i n g i n c o n c e p t i o n . Thus i t would seem t h a t i t i s not the case t h a t such a s y s t e m ( i e . one composed of the ovum and the spermatozoa i n i t s p r o x i m i t y subsequent t o e j a c u l a t i o n ) i s one i n which i t s c o n s t i t u e n t e n t i t i e s a r e so i n t e r r e l a t e d t h a t they w i l l i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s due t o the o p e r a t i o n of n a t u r a l laws c a u s a l l y g i v e r i s e t o a p e r s o n . I t might be argued t h a t a f u r t h e r m o d i f i c a t i o n of G.P.P. i s i n o r d e r , i e . one t h a t o p e r a t e s over time i n such a way t h a t r e p e a t e d use of c o n t r a c e p t i v e methods concomitant w i t h a c t s of s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e must be viewed as a v i o l a t i o n of such a m o d i f i e d G.P.P. A c c o r d i n g l y , even though i t may be the case t h a t i s o l a t e d s i n g l e a c t s , per se, i n v o l v i n g c o n t r a c e p t i o n may not breach such a p r i n c i p l e , the p r a c t i c e of c o n t r a c e p t i o n would be viewed as a b r e a c h . That i s , f o r some spermatozoon and some ovum(although we can never know which ones) i t would have been the case t h a t c o n c e p t i o n would have o c c u r r e d , i f not f o r the use of c o n t r a c e p t i o n . An immediate problem w i t h t h i s p r o p o s a l a r i s e s i n the f o l l o w i n g way. What then i s "the system"? I s the system two s e x u a l p a r t n e r s , or i s i t the 2.4 b i l l i o n spermatozoa and one ovum i n v o l v e d i n e i g h t c o n s e c u t i v e a c t s of s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e between the same s e x u a l p a r t n e r s ? The former a l t e r n a t i v e was c o n s i d e r e d and r e j e c t e d under our treatment 27 of the macroview of systems. The l a t t e r a l t e r n a t i v e p r e s e n t s f u r t h e r d i f f i c u l t i e s . There i s no p o i n t i n time a t which a l l the 2.4 b i l l i o n s permatozoa(of a system) e x i s t t o g e t h e r as a c o l l e c t i o n of e n t i t i e s . The system here must n e c e s s a r i l y be composed of c o n s t i t u e n t s , a t any g i v e n t i m e , some of which c u r r e n t l y e x i s t , some no l o n g e r e x i s t , and 24 some of which have not y e t come i n t o e x i s t e n c e . The f a c t t h a t our system i s a s p a t i o - t e m p o r a l o b j e c t s h o u l d not i n p r i n c i p l e be a cause f o r c o n c e r n . Everyone s h o u l d agree t h a t a f e t u s i s no l e s s a p o t e n t i a l person j u s t p r i o r t o b i r t h than a t c o n c e p t i o n j u s t because most of the c o n s t i t u e n t m o l e c u l e s of the con c e p t u s may no l o n g e r be t h e r e . L e t us f o r the moment g r a n t the c l a i m t h a t a system of 2.4 b i l l i o n e j a c u l a t e d spermatozoa i n c l o s e p r o x i m i t y w i t h ova d u r i n g i n t e r c o u r s e over time can have the r e q u i s i t e p o t e n t i a l i t y t o c o n s t i t u t e a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . What about a s i m i l a r system composed of sperm i n the t e s t e s d u r i n g i n t e r c o u r s e j u s t p r i o r t o e j a c u l a t i o n ? S u r e l y such a system must be deemed t o have the r e q u i s i t e p o t e n t i a l i t y under the Tooleyean scheme. What then about a s i m i l a r system composed of sperm i n the t e s t e s j u s t p r i o r t o i n t e r c o u r s e ? What about a s i m i l a r system composed of sperm i n the p r o c e s s of f o r m a t i o n , i e . s p e r m a t o g e n e s i s ? What about a l l the foo d s e x u a l p a r t n e r s a t e whi c h formed the m o l e c u l e s which formed the sperm and ova? S h o u l d not t h i s food be c o n s i d e r e d a 28 p o t e n t i a l person? S u r e l y we now end up s a y i n g t h a t j u s t about every c o m b i n a t i o n of m o l e c u l e s i m a g i n a b l e i s a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . E x t e n d i n g the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y t o systems of e n t i t i e s (which might produce i n d i v i d u a l o b j e c t s which then d e v e l o p i n c e r t a i n ways) reduces the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y t o a b s u r d i t y . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t may c o n c l u d e t h a t the Tooleye a n c o n c e p t u a l scheme i s a p e r v e r s i o n of our c o n v e n t i o n a l n o t i o n s about • p o t e n t i a l i t y ' . He may i n s i s t t h a t the proper account i s t o view the system of s e p a r a t e d spermatozoon and ovum as p r e s e n t i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . And a c c o r d i n g l y , the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t w i l l f e e l t h a t he i s i n no way r e q u i r e d t o e x t e n d the r i g h t t o l i f e t o merely p o s s i b l e f u t u r e p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s . And I b e l i e v e , i n t h i s r e s p e c t , we must s i d e w i t h the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t . One l a s t m o d i f i c a t i o n t o T o o l e y ' s argument here must be c o n s i d e r e d , and t h a t i s t o s i m p l y omit t a l k of systems and a l t o g e t h e r r i d from ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' the n o t i o n of 'normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s ' . So here we would u n d e r s t a n d T o o l e y t o be d i s p u t i n g the h i s t o r i c a l view of p o t e n t i a l i t y , but from a d i f f e r e n t a n g l e . From t h i s p o i n t of v i e w , T o o l e y ' s argument would proceed by c h a r a c t e r i z i n g any i n d i v i d u a l human spermatozoon as h a v i n g v e r y weak p o t e n t i a l f o r personhood; any i n d i v i d u a l human ovum as h a v i n g s i m p l y a weak p o t e n t i a l f o r personhood. The argument would be couched i n the 29 language of p r o b a b i l i t y and s t a t i s t i c s . R e c a l l , t h e t r a d i t i o n a l view of p o t e n t i a l i t y i n r e g a r d t o the i s s u e at hand i s t h a t o n l y when c o n c e p t i o n o c c u r s can we p r e d i c a t e of something t h a t i t i s s e l f - e v o l v i n g — t h a t i t w i l K i n the normal c o u r s e of events and w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e ) , as a r e s u l t of a c a u s a l p r o c e s s s e t i n motion by the g e n e t i c s t r u c t u r e completed a t c o n c e p t i o n , d e v e l o p i n t o a p e r s o n . T o o l e y would then be c o n s t r u e d as c l a i m i n g t h a t the c a p a c i t y f o r s e l f - e v o l u t i o n and the com p l e t e d g e n e t i c s t r u c t u r e are o n l y a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n , not a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n , f o r the presence of p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood. C l e a r l y , once c o n c e p t i o n has o c c u r r e d , the z y g o t e has a s t r o n g p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood, but why r e f u s e to lo o k f o r p o t e n t i a l i t y a t e a r l i e r s t a g e s i n the c a u s a l p r o c e s s ? Take 25 f o r example gametogenesis , why not c o n s i d e r r t as the i n i t i a l s t age of the c a u s a l p r o c e s s ? The t a c t i c a l move b e i n g made here i s t o argue t h a t the t r a d i t i o n a l d e m a r c a t i o n between p o t e n t i a l i t y and mere p o s s i b i l i t y based on s e l f -e v o l u t i o n and complete g e n e t i c s t r u c t u r e i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a r b i t r a r y . Only p r o b a b i l i t y and s t a t i s t i c s can determine how s t r o n g the p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r any g i v e n e n t i t y i s . S t u d i e s have r e v e a l e d t h a t r o u g h l y twenty p e r c e n t of a l l 2 6 human z y g o t e s undergo spontaneous a b o r t i o n . Hence, development t o m a t u r a t i o n of e v e r y zygote i s by no means a s s u r e d even w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e . Some p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s a r e w i l l i n g t o ac c e p t t h i s 30 d e l i n e a t i o n of p o t e n t i a l i t y . They p o i n t out t h a t the d i f f e r e n c e s i n p r o b a b i l i t y a r e so g r e a t between the z y g o t e on the one hand and i n d i v i d u a l ova and spermatozoa on the o t h e r t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e framed i n terms of • s t r o n g p o t e n t i a l i t y ' w i l l , i n p r a c t i c e , p r e s e n t them w i t h 27 no g r e a t problems. However, an opponent would ask why s h o u l d the degree of p o t e n t i a l i t y make any d i f f e r e n c e ? What would the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t have t o say i f f i f t y p e r c e n t of a l l z y g o t e s underwent spontaneous a b o r t i o n ? Or even n i n e t y - f i v e p e r c e n t ? J.T. Noonan responds t o t h i s maneuver i n the f o l l o w i n g way: I t may be asked, what does a change i n b i o l o g i c a l p r o b a b i l i t i e s have t o do w i t h e s t a b l i s h i n g humanity? The argument from p r o b a b i l i t i e s i s not aimed a t e s t a b l i s h i n g humanity but a t e s t a b l i s h i n g an o b j e c t i v e d i s c o n t i n u i t y which may be taken i n t o account i n moral d i s c o u r s e . As l i f e i t s e l f i s a matter of p r o b a b i l i t i e s , so i t seems i n a c c o r d w i t h the s t r u c t u r e of r e a l i t y and the n a t u r e of moral thought t o found a moral judgment on the change i n p r o b a b i l i t i e s a t c o n c e p t i o n . The a p p e a l t o p r o b a b i l i t i e s i s the most commonsensical of arguments, t o a g r e a t e r o r s m a l l e r degree a l l of us base our a c t i o n s on p r o b a b i l i t i e s , and i n m o r a l s , as i n law, prudence and n e g l i g e n c e a r e o f t e n measured by the account one has t a k e n of the p r o b a b i l i t i e s . I f the chance i s 200,000,000 t o one t h a t the movement i n the bushes i n t o which you shoot i s a man's, I doubt i f many persons would h o l d you c a r e l e s s i n s h o o t i n g ; but i f the chances a r e 4 out of 5 t h a t the movement i s a human b e i n g ' s , few would a c q u i t you of blame. Would the argument be d i f f e r e n t i f o n l y one out of t e n c h i l d r e n c o n c e i v e d came t o term? Of c o u r s e t h i s argument would be d i f f e r e n t . T h i s argument i s an a p p e a l t o p r o b a b i l i t i e s t h a t a c t u a l l y e x i s t , not t o any and a l l s t a t e of a f f a i r s which may be imagined. The p r o b a b i l i t i e s as they do e x i s t do not show the humanity of the embryo i n the sense of a d e m o n s t r a t i o n i n l o g i c any more than the p r o b a b i l i t i e s of the movement i n the bush b e i n g a man demonstrate beyond a l l doubt t h a t the b e i n g i s a man. The a p p e a l i s a " b u t t r e s s i n g " c o n s i d e r a t i o n , showing the p l a u s i b i l i t y of the s t a n d a r d adopted. The argument f o c u s e s on the d e c i s i o n a l f a c t o r i n any moral 31 judgment and assumes t h a t p a r t of the b u s i n e s s of a m o r a l i s t i s d rawing l i n e s . One e v i d e n c e of the n o n a r b i t r a r y c h a r a c t e r of the l i n e drawn i s the d i f f e r e n c e s of p r o b a b i l i t i e s on e i t h e r s i d e of i t . I f a spermatozoon i s d e s t r o y e d , one d e s t r o y s a b e i n g which had a chance of f a r l e s s than 1 i n 200 m i l l i o n of d e v e l o p i n g i n t o a r e a s o n i n g b e i n g , p o s s e s s e d of the g e n e t i c code, a h e a r t and o t h e r o rgans, and c a p a b l e of p a i n . I f a f e t u s i s d e s t r o y e d , one d e s t r o y s a b e i n g a l r e a d y p o s s e s s e d of the g e n e t i c code, organs, and s e n s i t i v i t y t o p a i n , and one which had an 80 p e r c e n t chance of d e v e l o p i n g f u r t h e r i n t o a baby o u t s i d e the womb who, i n t i m e , would r e a s o n . I t seems t o me t h a t Noonan's bush argument does not do the work he t h i n k s i t does. The s i t u a t i o n f o r c o n t r a c e p t i o n i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t i n t h a t such a p r a c t i c e v i r t u a l l y g u a r a n t e e s the p r e v e n t i o n of the coming about of s e v e r a l progeny f o r c o n j u g a l mates over a l o n g p e r i o d of t i m e . Would Noonan excuse the agent of the p r a c t i c e of s h o o t i n g i n t o the bush once a day f o r t h i r t y y e a r s i f such a p r a c t i c e n o r m a l l y r e s u l t e d i n the d e a t h of say ten i n d i v i d u a l s . S u r e l y he would not. The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t perhaps f o r g e t s t o o e a s i l y the f o r c e of the c h a l l e n g e i s s u e d by h i s opponents. I f he can not s a t i s f a c t o r i l y demonstrate t h a t c o n c e p t i o n i s the d e m a r c a t i o n p o i n t f o r the p o t e n t i a l i t y of personhood i n the c a u s a l p r o c e s s of r e p r o d u c t i o n , then he i s open t o the charge t h a t the p r a c t i c e of c o n t r a c e p t i o n i s m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o the p r a c t i c e of murder. 32 F. P o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood: why c o n c e p t i o n ? I b e l i e v e the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t can s a t i s f a c t o r i l y s e t t l e t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y d e m a r c a t i o n q u e s t i o n i n the f o l l o w i n g way. Spontaneous a b o r t i o n s do not oc c u r w i t h o u t reason o r cause. A f e t u s doesn't j u s t d e c i d e t o e j e c t i t s e l f from i t s mother's womb. Some of the causes of spontaneous a b o r t i o n s t h a t have been brought t o my a t t e n t i o n a r e : p s y c h o l o g i c a l or p h y s i c a l trauma s u s t a i n e d by the mo t h e r ( c a r a c c i d e n t s e t c . ) ; s e v e r e d e b i l i t a t i n g d i s e a s e or p o i s o n i n g s u s t a i n e d by the mother; and f e t a l d e a t h by 2 9 d i s e a s e , p o i s o n i n g , or because of severe g e n e t i c d e f e c t . The f o l l o w i n g s u g g e s t s i t s e l f . U n l e s s the f e t u s was g e n e t i c a l l y doomed a t c o n c e p t i o n , a l l the v a r i o u s causes of spontaneous a b o r t i o n s must be viewed as e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e s t o the f e t u s ' development. J u s t because t h e r e may not be any c u l p a b i l i t y ( n o person t o blame f o r the a b o r t i o n ) , t h i s does not d i m i n i s h the e x t e r n a l i t y of the i n t e r f e r e n c e . When we e v a l u a t e a g e n e t i c a l l y normal, newly-formed z y g o t e f o r p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood i t may seem t o us i f we come from a p o s i t i o n of i g n o r a n c e t h a t i t i s f a i r t o compare the randomness e v i d e n c e d a t the l e v e l of spermatozoa and ova t o the chances of z y g o t e s d e v e l o p i n g t o f u l l - t e r m . But what emerges, from a p o s i t i o n of knowledge of the b i o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s i n v o l v e d , i s t h a t such comparisons a r e e x t r e m e l y m i s l e a d i n g and m i s g u i d e d . A f e t u s t h a t was g e n e t i c a l l y doomed a t c o n c e p t i o n s i m p l y never had 33 any p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood. A l l o t h e r f e t u s e s had 100% f u l l - f l e d g e d p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood a t the moment of c o n c e p t i o n . So we see now t h a t t h e f a c t t h a t one out of f i v e z y g o t e s w i l l undergo spontaneous a b o r t i o n can be no o b j e c t i o n t o a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n . J u s t as an a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g p e r son's p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r f u t u r e personhood i s not d i m i n i s h e d by the f a c t t h a t such and such a p e r c e n t of a l l p ersons a r e k i l l e d by l i g h t n i n g every y e a r ( s p o n t a n e o u s a n n i h i l a t i o n ) , so must we e v a l u a t e " a c t s of God" as they a f f e c t p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s . The g e n e r a l s t r a t e g y here i s t o deny the opponent h i s c l a i m t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n can o n l y t a l k about v a r y i n g degrees of p o t e n t i a l i t y based on p r o b a b i l i t y and s t a t i s t i c s u n t i l the p o t e n t i a l i t y i s r e a l i z e d . Such opponents a r e , once a g a i n , i n j e c t i n g the macro-view of outcome i n t o t h e i r n o t i o n s of p o t e n t i a l i t y . They r e f u s e t o view f u t u r e c a p a c i t y f o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e s i n f e t u s e s as they would f o r a d u l t s . For example, we do not say of someone t h a t i s a s l e e p t h a t he has merely a s t r o n g p o t e n t i a l t o become c o n s c i o u s , we s i m p l y say t h a t he i s p o t e n t i a l l y c o n s c i o u s . I t i s t r u e t h a t the outcome or event t h a t he become c o n s c i o u s i s not n e c e s s a r y - - he may d i e i n h i s s l e e p or become comatose. The p r o p o s i t i o n 'so and so w i l l become c o n s c i o u s ' i s not a n e c e s s a r y t r u t h . However, i t must be p o i n t e d out t h a t i f we knew enough f a c t s about someone's h e a l t h , we would be i n a p o s i t i o n t o know whether or not he 3 4 would d i e say of a h e a r t a t t a c k i n - h i s s l e e p , and so on, and c o n s e q u e n t l y whether or not he w i l l , w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e , become c o n s c i o u s . The s i t u a t i o n i s v e r y s i m i l a r f o r c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n the f e t u s . I f we know enough f a c t s about i t s h e a l t h ( g e n e t i c and o t h e r w i s e ) we can dete r m i n e whether, w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e ( a n d w i t h n u r t u r e and s u c c o u r ) , i t w i l l become c o n s c i o u s . A p o s s i b l e o b j e c t i o n t o the f o r e g o i n g argument s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d as f o l l o w s . I t seems t h a t the t h e o r y of 100% f u l l - f l e d g e d p o t e n t i a l i t y o u t l i n e d above i s based on knowledge. Suppose we are i n a p o s i t i o n t o know whether, w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e , a p a r t i c u l a r sperm and ovum w i l l u n i t e t o form a z y g o t e . I f we can g i v e an a f f i r m a t i v e answer i n a p a r t i c u l a r c a s e , does t h i s not mean t h a t the sperm and ovum w h i l e s e p a r a t e d ( c o n s i d e r e d t o g e t h e r ) form a p o t e n t i a l person? Whether we c a l l the s e p a r a t e d sperm and ovum a system or an e n t i t y s h o u l d be i r r e l e v a n t . My response t o t h i s o b j e c t i o n i s t w o - f o l d . F i r s t , the k i n d of knowledge i n v o l v e d i n coming t o know whether a newly formed z y g o t e has the p o t e n t i a l t o become a p e r s o n , and the k i n d of knowledge i n v o l v e d i n coming t o know whether a p a r t i c u l a r sperm and ovum w i l l u n i t e and t h e r e f o r e have a t the p r e c o n c e p t i o n s t a g e the p o t e n t i a l t o become a p e r s o n , a r e , I submit, s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of knowledge. The former k i n d of knowledge i n v o l v e s merely l o o k i n g a t the e x i s t i n g p r o p e r t i e s ( i e . g e n e t i c and c e l l u l a r make-up) of a 35 c a n d i d a t e t o a s c e r t a i n whether i t i s i n i t s n a t u r e t o become a p e r s o n . The l a t t e r k i n d of knowledge i n v o l v e s n o t h i n g l e s s than o m n i s c i e n c e , i e . s u f f i c i e n t knowledge t o p r e d i c t the outcome of c o u n t l e s s f o r c e s and e v e n t s i m p a c t i n g on spermatozoa and ova p r i o r t o c o n c e p t i o n . The l a t t e r k i n d of knowledge based p o t e n t i a l i t y can r e s u l t i n the t r u t h of c l a i m s such a s - - the system composed of two sandwiches consumed by s e x u a l p a r t n e r s some time b e f o r e i n t e r c o u r s e i s a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . I t i s the k i n d of p o t e n t i a l i t y t h a t i n c l i n e s us t o t r a c e back i n time e v e r y atom of every m o l e c u l e which ends up i n a newly formed z y g o t e e n a b l i n g us t o c r e a t e , a t e v e r y f u r t h e r s t e p back i n t i m e , an e v e r -w i d e n i n g net of e n t i t i e s which c o l l e c t i v e l y have the p o t e n t i a l t o become a p e r s o n , u n t i l e v e n t u a l l y we must say t h a t almost e v e r y c o l l e c t i o n of e n t i t i e s i m a g i n a b l e i s a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t , once a g a i n , a s s e r t s t h a t t h i s i s a p e r v e r s i o n of the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y . I f p o t e n t i a l i t y i s t o mean more than ( e v e r y t h i n g i s p o t e n t i a l l y e v e r y t h i n g e l s e ' , then the l a t t e r k i n d of knowledge based p o t e n t i a l i t y must be r e j e c t e d . O f t e n i t i s n e c e s s a r y i n p h i l o s o p h y t o draw l i n e s i n the f o u n d a t i o n s of "important concepts l i k e p o t e n t i a l i t y . C l e a r l y , my account of p o t e n t i a l i t y i s a l i n e drawing of a k i n d . The q u e s t i o n a r i s e s , why i s my l i n e drawing s e n s i b l e and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y n o n - a r b i t r a r y ? 3 6 I am drawing a l i n e i n the c a u s a l p r o c e s s of the r e p r o d u c t i o n of l i v i n g t h i n g s . I am s a y i n g t h a t u n t i l c o n c e p t i o n i s reached t h e r e i s ' no p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood. One answer t o the above q u e s t i o n i s t h a t d r a w i n g the l i n e a t any e a r l i e r j u n c t u r e r e s u l t s i n the a b s u r d i t y of the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y . More i m p o r t a n t l y , c o n c e p t i o n marks a d i s c r e t e p o i n t i n the c a u s a l p r o c e s s of r e p r o d u c t i o n u n l i k e any o t h e r . Once the g e n e t i c s t r u c t u r e i s c o m p l e t e , the r e s u l t i n g e n t i t y ( t h e z y g o t e ) has the c a p a c i t y f o r s e l f - g e n e r a t i o n i n a way s i g n i f i c a n t l y u n l i k e e a r l i e r j u n c t u r e s i n the c a u s a l p r o c e s s . From the moment of c o n c e p t i o n , the p r o c e s s l e a d i n g t o the f o r m a t i o n of a person i s more of an u n f o l d i n g of e v e n t s i n a ccordance w i t h a f i x e d i n t e r n a l d e s i g n . Whereas b e f o r e c o n c e p t i o n , the p r o c e s s i s more r a n d o m - l i k e and i n no comparably s i g n i f i c a n t way can the d e s i g n of u n f o l d i n g e v e n t s be a t t r i b u t e d to the system 29 of e n t i t i e s i n q u e s t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , z y g o t e s a r e the k i n d s of t h i n g s f o r which the f u t u r e o r d i n a r i l y h o l d s p e r s o n h o o d — i t i s p a r t of t h e i r normal development. Whereas t h i s can not be s a i d of s u b j e c t s a t e a r l i e r j u n c t u r e s ( s p e r m , ova, sandwiches, e t c . ) , i e . t h a t they a r e the k i n d s of t h i n g s t h a t n o r m a l l y d e v e l o p i n t o a p e r s o n . To be s u r e , s u b j e c t s , or "systems", at e a r l i e r j u n c t u r e s , t o v a r y i n g degrees, sometimes do g i v e r i s e t o p e r s o n s . I n t r i n s i c t o the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y i s the n o t i o n t h a t t h e s u b j e c t has a c h i e v e d a s t a t e of b e i n g a t which i t w i l l , 37 w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e , become something which i s i n i t s n a t u r e t o become. Sperm, ova e t c . have not reached the s t a t e of b e i n g where i t can be s a i d f o r any g i v e n s u b j e c t t h a t i t i s p a r t of i t s normal development t o become a p e r s o n . Some p h i l o s o p h e r s may remain unconvinced by the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t ' s l i n e d r a w i n g , and a t t h i s p o i n t might argue t h a t the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y must be i r r e t r i e v a b l y a b s u r d . That i s , the r e s u l t e a r l i e r o b t a i n e d t h a t e v e r y t h i n g i s p o t e n t i a l l y e v e r y t h i n g e l s e , p o i n t s t o the a b s o l u t e a b s u r d i t y of the concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y and no amount of maneuvering by the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o rescue a concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y from a b s u r d i t y can succeed w i t h o u t becoming a b s u r d . I f t h i s i s t r u e , then much i s l o s t i n the way we can t a l k about the w o r l d . In p a r t i c u l a r the concept of an undeveloped c a p a c i t y i s l o s t ( a s w e l l p r o b a b l y the concept of a c a p a c i t y i t s e l f ) . However, one must wonder how many m e t a p h y s i c a l c o n c e p t s c o u l d w i t h s t a n d as severe s c r u t i n y as • p o t e n t i a l i t y ' has here undergone and s u r v i v e . I t perhaps would be u s e f u l now t o b r i e f l y summarize our p r o g r e s s t o t h i s p o i n t . We d i s c o v e r e d f i r s t t h a t i t does not make sense t o p r e d i c a t e personhood of systems as Tooley a c t u a l l y does i n h i s statement of G.P.P. We then d i s c o v e r e d t h a t i n T o o l e y ' s s u p p o r t i n g argument f o r the e x t e n s i o n of M.P.P. t o i n c l u d e systems, he used two f u n d a m e n t a l l y d i f f e r e n t c o n c e p t s of p o t e n t i a l i t y . The manner i n which he 38 made use of t h e s e two d i f f e r e n t c o n c e p t s a r g u a b l y c o n s t i t u t e s an e q u i v o c a t i o n . In any c a s e , i t was found t h a t a s u i t a b l y comprehensive, n o n - a r b i t r a r y , and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y sound concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y c o u l d be adopted by a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t which would e n a b l e him t o s u c c e s s f u l l y r e s i s t the i m p o s i t i o n of systems on h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e . 3 9 G. P r e v e n t a t i v e a c t s R e c a l l t h a t G.P.P. d i f f e r e d from M.P.P. i n two r e s p e c t s . F i r s t , G.P.P. t a l k e d about systems where M.P.P. t a l k e d about s i n g l e o r g a nisms. And s e c o n d l y , G.P.P. t a l k e d about p r e v e n t a t i v e a c t s where M.P.P. t a l k e d about d e s t r u c t i v e a c t s . We have a l r e a d y d i s p o s e d of the former m o d i f i c a t i o n of M.P.P.; the l a t t e r m o d i f i c a t i o n remains t o be d e a l t w i t h . A c c o r d i n g l y , we must u n d e r s t a n d Tooley t o be a r g u i n g f o r something l i k e the f o l l o w i n g : I f t h e r e a r e any p r o p e r t i e s p o s s e s s e d by normal a d u l t human be i n g s which endow any organism p o s s e s s i n g them w i t h a r i g h t t o l i f e , then at l e a s t one of those p r o p e r t i e s i s such t h a t i t i s s e r i o u s l y wrong t o pe r f o r m any a c t i o n t h a t w i l l p r e v e n t an organism, which o t h e r w i s e would have developed the p r o p e r t y , from d e v e l o p i n g the p r o p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n . Now, s i n c e gametes a r e n o t , s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , organisms, I am sure t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would have no qualms w i t h such a m o d i f i c a t i o n . However, I am a l s o s u r e t h a t T o o l e y would w i s h t o s u b s t i t u t e something l i k e " b i o l o g i c a l e n t i t y " f o r "organism" i n the above. In such a way T o o l e y would be seen t o be a r g u i n g the p o i n t t h a t the p r a c t i c e of c o n t r a c e p t i o n i s a v i o l a t i o n of t h e above p r i n c i p l e , because i t p r e v e n t s i n d i v i d u a l ova or spermatozoa from d e v e l o p i n g i n t o p e r s o n s . However, as we saw i n our d i s c u s s i o n about s y s t e m s ( i n p a r t i c u l a r the arguments concerned w i t h the m i c r o - v i e w of spermatozoa and o v a ) , a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t can s u c c e s s f u l l y d e f e n d a n o t i o n of p o t e n t i a l i t y which e n a b l e s him t o l e g i t i m a t e l y r e s i s t the 40 charge t h a t i n a l l c o n s i s t e n c y he must view c o n t r a c e p t i o n t o be a v i o l a t i o n of h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e . A l t h o u g h T o o l e y ' s move from the concept of k i l l i n g t o the concept of ' p r e v e n t i n g the development of personhood' i s one a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s h o u l d not i n p r i n c i p l e o b j e c t t o ( a s q u a l i f i e d a b ove), T o o l e y ' s s u p p o r t i n g argument f o r p r e v e n t a t i v e a c t s i s somewhat f l a w e d . R e c a l l T o o l e y ' s s u p p o r t i n g argument f o r the e x p a n s i o n of M.P.P. t o i n c l u d e p r e v e n t a t i v e a c t s - -The second d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t the o r i g i n a l and m o d i f i e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e s d e a l o n l y w i t h the d e s t r u c t i o n of orga n i s m s , w h i l e the g e n e r a l i z e d p r i n c i p l e d e a l s w i t h any a c t i o n t h a t p r e v e n t s an organism, or a system from d e v e l o p i n g the r e l e v a n t p r o p e r t y . I t h i n k t h a t the c o n s e r v a t i v e on a b o r t i o n would c e r t a i n l y want t o accept t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . For suppose t h a t by e x p o s i n g a human zygote t o a p p r o p r i a t e r a d i a t i o n one c o u l d t r a n s f o r m i t i n t o a f r o g z y g o t e . A woman c o u l d then e n j o y a two-step a b o r t i o n : f i r s t the human z y g o t e would be t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a f r o g z y g o t e , and then the f r o g z y g o t e would be d e s t r o y e d . Assuming t h a t one does not view the d e s t r u c t i o n of a f r o g z y g o t e as s e r i o u s l y wrong, one must e i t h e r h o l d t h a t i t i s s e r i o u s l y wrong t o p r e v e n t a human zygote from d e v e l o p i n g i t s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s , or e l s e c o n c l u d e t h a t the two-step a b o r t i o n t e c h n i q u e i s m o r a l l y p e r m i s s i b l e . The l a t t e r o p t i o n would not appear t o be a v i a b l e one f o r the c o n s e r v a t i v e . For why s h o u l d i t be m o r a l l y p e r m i s s i b l e t o d e s t r o y a human organism i n two s t e p s , one which l i m i t s i t s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s and the o t h e r of which d e s t r o y s the r e s u l t i n g o r g a n ism, but s e r i o u s l y wrong t o c o l l a p s e t h e s e two s t e p s i n t o one, l i m i t i n g i t s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s and d e s t r o y i n g i t by a s i n g l e a c t i o n ? I t h i n k t h a t an advocate of the extreme c o n s e r v a t i v e view of a b o r t i o n would agree t h a t t h e r e i s no s i g n i f i c a n t moral d i s t i n c t i o n h e r e , and thus would a c c e p t the second g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n the expanded p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e . 31 In G.P.P., the concept of k i l l i n g i s r e p l a c e d by p r e v e n t i n g from d e v e l o p i n g . But i n the above passage Tooley t a l k s about d e s t r u c t i o n not k i l l i n g . The problem here i s 41 t h a t T o o l e y has c o n f u s e d the c o n c e p t s of k i l l i n g and d e s t r o y i n g . D e s t r u c t i o n , i n so f a r as i t i n c l u d e s i n i t s ambit the p r o c e s s e s of change and t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , does not n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e k i l l i n g . Moreover, when a p o t e n t i a l person changes i n t o an a c t u a l p e r s o n t h e r e i s a sense i n which the p o t e n t i a l person i s d e s t r o y e d . C o n s e q u e n t l y , s i n c e t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t does not want i t t o come out under h i s p r i n c i p l e t h a t a c t s which f a c i l i t a t e the b r i n g i n g about of the a c t u a l person from a s t a t e of p o t e n t i a l i t y a re m o r a l l y wrong, he must r e s i s t the i n s i n u a t i o n of the concept of d e s t r u c t i o n i n t o h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e . There seems t o me t o be a m i s t a k e i n T o o l e y ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the two-step a b o r t i o n . The f i r s t s t e p ( r a d i a t i n g the human zygote i n t o a f r o g z y g o t e ) i s more than a s i m p l e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n — i t i s the d e s t r u c t i o n of a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . The second s t e p i s more than a d e s t r u c t i o n , i t i s a k i l l i n g . My p o i n t here i s s i m p l y t h a t T o o l e y ' s two-step a b o r t i o n argument does not do the work f o r him t h a t he t h i n k s i t does. That i s , T o o l e y ' s f i r s t s t e p ( r a d i a t i n g the human z y g o t e ) d e s t r o y s t h e p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n i n a way t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t i s e n t i t l e d t o r e j e c t . C o n s e q u e n t l y , T o o l e y ' s two-step a b o r t i o n argument does not persuade the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o accept ' p r e v e n t i n g from d e v e l o p i n g ' . In c o n c l u s i o n , I b e l i e v e t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would g i v e l i m i t e d a p p r o v a l t o the i n c l u s i o n of p r e v e n t a t i v e 4 2 a c t s i n t o h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e . F o r example, r a d i a t i n g a human zy g o t e i n such a way as t o f r u s t r a t e the development of a l l h i g h e r - o r d e r m e n t a t i o n — t o c r e a t e a human " v e g e t a b l e " . However, the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would c e r t a i n l y r e j e c t any p r o p o s a l t o a p p l y t h i s m o d i f i c a t i o n t o s u b j e c t s a t e a r l i e r j u n c t u r e s i n the r e p r o d u c t i v e p r o c e s s , such as human ova or spermatozoa, and, as we have seen, he i s f u l l y e n t i t l e d t o such a r e j e c t i o n . T o o l e y ' s attempt t o maneuver the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o a c c e p t G.P.P. has been c l e a r l y demonstrated t o be a f a i l u r e . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t need not a c c e p t G.P.P. on the b a s i s of M.P.P. We t u r n t o T o o l e y ' s second attempt t o a s s a i l M.P.P. 4 3 H. T o o l e y ' s moral symmetry p r i n c i p l e T o o l e y ' s second and f i n a l argument a g a i n s t M.P.P. i s h i s now famous " k i t t e n argument". T o o l e y ' s k i t t e n argument b e g i n s by e s t a b l i s h i n g what T o o l e y c a l l s h i s moral symmetry p r i n c i p l e w i t h r e s p e c t t o a c t i o n and i n a c t i o n . By means of a s e r i e s of maneuvers and a p p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s p r i n c i p l e T o o ley o b t a i n s the r e s u l t t h a t the a c t of a b o r t i o n i s m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o r e f r a i n i n g from engaging i n p r o c r e a t i v e s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e . However, the c r u c i a l t h i n g f o r T o o l e y i s t o get us t o a c c e p t h i s mo r a l symmetry p r i n c i p l e ( h e r e a f t e r M.S.P.): Let C be a c a u s a l p r o c e s s t h a t n o r m a l l y l e a d s t o outcome E. Let A be an a c t i o n t h a t i n i t i a t e s p r o c e s s C, and l e t B be an a c t i o n , i n v o l v i n g no r i s k and a min i m a l e x p e n d i t u r e of energy, which s t o p s p r o c e s s C b e f o r e outcome E o c c u r s . Assume f u r t h e r t h a t a c t i o n s A and B do not have any o t h e r consequences, and t h a t E i s the o n l y p a r t or outcome of C which i s m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n i t s e l f . Then t h e r e i s no moral d i f f e r e n c e between i n t e n t i o n a l l y p e r f o r m i n g a c t i o n B and i n t e n t i o n a l l y r e f r a i n i n g from p e r f o r m i n g - a c t i o n A, assuming i d e n t i c a l m o t i v a t i o n i n both c a s e s . As Tooley c o r r e c t l y p o i n t s o u t , p h i l o s o p h e r s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y drawn a d i s t i n c t i o n between " p o s i t i v e d u t i e s " and " n e g a t i v e d u t i e s " . That i s , the d i f f e r e n c e between what we owe peopl e i n terms of n o n i n t e r f e r e n c e ( r e f r a i n i n g from k i l l i n g f o r example) and what we owe p e o p l e i n terms of a i d ( s a v i n g somebody's l i f e ) . The a b r o g a t i o n of n e g a t i v e d u t i e s has g e n e r a l l y been c o n s i d e r e d by p h i l o s o p h e r s t o be m o r a l l y most s e r i o u s , whereas the b r e a c h i n g of p o s i t i v e d u t i e s has been g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d t o be r e l a t i v e l y l e s s 44 s e r i o u s . T ooley p r e s e n t s the f o l l o w i n g example t o i l l u s t r a t e h i s argument: ( 1 ) Jones sees t h a t Smith w i l l be k i l l e d by a bomb u n l e s s he warns him. Jones' r e a c t i o n i s : "How l u c k y , i t w i l l save me the t r o u b l e of k i l l i n g S mith m y s e l f . " So Jones a l l o w s Smith t o be k i l l e d by the bomb, even though he c o u l d e a s i l y have warned him. ( 2 ) Jones wants Smith dead, and t h e r e f o r e s h o o t s him. I s one t o say t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the wrongness of Jones' b e h a v i o u r i n t h e s e two c a s e s ? S u r e l y n o t . T h i s shows the m i s t a k e of drawing a d i s t i n c t i o n between p o s i t i v e d u t i e s and n e g a t i v e d u t i e s and h o l d i n g - t h a t the l a t t e r impose s t r i c t e r o b l i g a t i o n s than the former. T o o l e y ' s example seems i n t u i t i v e l y p l a u s i b l e , but s u s p i c i o u s l y c o n t r i v e d ( J o n e s announces h i s former i n t e n t i o n t o ( a c t i v e l y ) k i l l S m i t h ) . C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g c o u n t e r -example. ( 1 ) A f r i e n d of mine, M, a s k s me t o have s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h her i n o r d e r t h a t she become pregnant and o b t a i n a baby f o r which she w i l l be t o t a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e . I a g r e e . S i x months i n t o her pregnancy I shoot her i n the abdomen and k i l l her baby because I f e e l t h a t she would make a t e r r i b l e mother. ( 2 ) M makes the same p r o p o s i t i o n but I c t u r n her down because I b e l i e v e t h a t M would make a t e r r i b l e mother. T o o l e y might o b j e c t t h a t my example as i t i s framed does not f a l l w i t h i n the r e s t r i c t i o n s he has l a i d o u t . In p a r t i c u l a r , t h a t i n my example the o u t c o m e — no person b e i n g a c t u a l i z e d , i s not the o n l y m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t outcome of the p r o c e s s . The a c t i o n of s h o o t i n g M i s m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n i t s e l f i n t h a t i t c o n s t i t u t e s a grave a s s a u l t w i t h the p o s s i b l e consequence of s e r i o u s harm to M. F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e i s M's trauma a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the f o r c e d 45 l o s s of her baby. R e c a l l , T o o l e y has s p e c i f i e d t h a t the i n i t i a t i n g a c t i o n ( A ) and the i n t e r f e r i n g a c t i o n ( B ) must have no o t h e r consequences and t h a t the outcome(E) i n d i c a t e d must be the o n l y m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t outcome of t h e c a u s a l p r o c e s s ( C ) . C l e a r l y , my example as framed f a l l s o u t s i d e the ambit of such a p r i n c i p l e . However, we must a s k , as f a r as an a b o r t i o n ( a B-type i n t e r f e r i n g a c t i o n ) i s c o n c e r n e d , i s the p r e v e n t i o n of a person from b e i n g a c t u a l i z e d the o n l y m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t of the p r o c e s s ? Or, put i n another way, i s a pers o n coming onstream the o n l y m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t or outcome of the c a u s a l p r o c e s s of r e p r o d u c t i o n ? A p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would c l a i m t h a t the f o r m a t i o n of a human zygote i s a m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t outcome i n i t s e l f which s u f f i c e s t o d i s t i n g u i s h ' r e f r a i n i n g t o engage -in p r o c r e a t i v e sex' from ' c o n c e i v i n g a c h i l d and then . ' 34 a b o r t i n g i t . But, of c o u r s e , T ooley would deny t h a t the f o r m a t i o n of a human zygote c o n s t i t u t e s a m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t outcome and a s s e r t t h a t , s i n c e t h e i r m o t i v a t i o n s a r e i d e n t i c a l , t he i n a c t i o n o f r e f r a i n i n g t o c o n c e i v e and the a c t i o n of a b o r t i o n a r e m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t ( b y the M.S.P.). I t seems s t r a n g e t h a t T o o l e y does not a n t i c i p a t e what would seem t o be the n a t u r a l response of a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t h e r e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y we have no i n d i c a t i o n of how T o o l e y would go about d e n y i n g t h e moral s i g n i f i c a n c e of the c r e a t i o n of a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . I n any c a s e , s i n c e i t i s 46 T o o l e y who has taken i t upon h i m s e l f t o persuade the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t of the u n a c c e p t a b l e consequences of 3 5 M.P.P., the onus i s on T o o l e y t o a d d r e s s t h i s i s s u e . A n other problem w i t h the M.S.P. i s the requirement of i d e n t i c a l m o t i v a t i o n . C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g example by R i c h a r d L o u i s Trammell: (1) Jones sees t h a t Smith w i l l be k i l l e d u n l e s s he warns him. But Jones i s a p a t h e t i c . So Smith i s k i l l e d by the bomb even though Jones c o u l d have warned him. (2) Jones i s p r a c t i c i n g s h o o t i n g h i s gun. Smith a c c i d e n t a l l y w alks i n the p a t h and Jones sees Smith; but Jones' r e a c t i o n i s - , a p a t hy. Jones p u l l s the t r i g g e r and Smith i s k i l l e d . A l t h o u g h Jones' apathy i n (1) may be wrong, h i s a c t i o n i n (2) i s c l e a r l y more s e r i o u s l y wrong. T h i s p o i n t s t o , I b e l i e v e , the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e r e i s a s t r o n g e r c o n n e c t i o n between wrongness and the consequences of one's a c t i o n s than between wrongness and the consequences of one's o m i s s i o n s . T h i s moral d i f f e r e n c e i s p r o b a b l y r o o t e d i n our concept of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . There i s a c l e a r e r l i n k between r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and the consequences of one's a c t i o n s than between r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and one's o m i s s i o n s . The more i t can be s a i d t h a t one i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r someone needing t o be saved t h e g r e a t e r t h e moral c o m p u l s i o n t o so a c t . In the above example, we say t h a t because Jones i s engaging i n an a c t i v i t y ( s h o o t i n g h i s gun) which has p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous consequences he has a g r e a t e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o take c a r e than i f he was s i m p l y s t a n d i n g around d o i n g n o t h i n g . Jones' apathy i n (2) i s p r o b a b l y m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o murder. 47 Jones' apathy i n ( 1 ) , though m o r a l l y s e r i o u s , i s l e s s so than i n (2) because Jones i s not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r Smith needing t o be saved. The c o n c l u s i o n from a l l t h i s must be, I b e l i e v e , t h a t one has g r e a t e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o f o r e s e e the consequences of one's a c t i o n s and t o take c a r e t h a t no one i s t h e r e b y harmed than t o f o r e s e e the consequences of one's o m i s s i o n s and t a k e such c a r e . One commits a f i n i t e number of a c t i o n s i n any g i v e n day; however, one "commits" an i n f i n i t e number of o m i s s i o n s . C l e a r l y , t o h o l d i n d i v i d u a l s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r o m i s s i o n s , w i t h o u t c a r e f u l c i r c u m s c r i p t i o n , i s t o i n v i t e d i s a s t e r . A l t h o u g h , t h e r e may be c a s e s where mor a l symmetry between a c t i o n and i n a c t i o n may seem a p p r o p r i a t e , t o e x t r a p o l a t e from such c a s e s as T o o l e y has done, w i t h h i s 37 M.S.P. i s unwarranted. As we have seen, v a r i o u s a t t e m p t s t o a s s a i l M.P.P. have met w i t h no s u b s t a n t i a l s u c c e s s . However, we must not f o r g e t t h a t M.P.P. does not c l a i m t h a t the f e t u s has a r i g h t t o l i f e ( a s P.P. d o e s ) , but r a t h e r t h a t i t i s m o r a l l y wrong t o k i l l i t . To c l a i m t h a t the f e t u s has a r i g h t t o l i f e i s t o say something much s t r o n g e r than t h a t i t i s m o r a l l y wrong t o k i l l i t . We must c o n c l u d e , I b e l i e v e , on the b a s i s of our endeavour so f a r , t h a t the i n t e g r i t y of p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y can be s e c u r e d when w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p r i n c i p l e s a r e framed i n terms of the moral wrongness o f , . a b o r t i o n . Put s i m p l y , 4 8 such p r i n c i p l e s a r e c o n s i s t e n t and t e n a b l e . We now t u r n the r i g h t t o l i f e q u e s t i o n and we w i l l use, once a g a i n , M i c h a e l T o o l e y ' s commentary as a d e p a r t u r e p o i n t f o r our e x a m i n a t i o n . 49 I . R i g h t s and d e s i r e s T o o l e y ' s b a s i c c l a i m i n r e g a r d t o r i g h t s i s as f o l l o w s : . . . t h e r e i s a c o n c e p t u a l c o n n e c t i o n between, on the one hand, the r i g h t s an i n d i v i d u a l can have and the c i r c u m s t a n c e s under which they can be v i o l a t e d , and, on the o t h e r , the e x i s t e n c e i n him of t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g d e s i r e s . The b a s i c i n t u i t i o n i s t h a t a r i g h t i s something t h a t can be v i o l a t e d and t h a t , i n g e n e r a l , v i o l a t i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s r i g h t t g 8 s o m e t h i n g i n v o l v e s f r u s t r a t i n g t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g d e s i r e . In so f a r as the r i g h t t o l i f e i s c o n c e r n e d , T o o l e y a r g u e s t h a t i n o r d e r f o r someone t o d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e t o l i v e , he must f i r s t be a b l e t o c o n c e i v e of h i m s e l f as a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e s and o t h e r mental s t a t e s . That i s , he must be s e l f - c o n s c i o u s . Of c o u r s e , one consequence of t h i s view i s t h a t neonates and young i n f a n t s can not have t h e r i g h t t o l i f e ( b e c a u s e they l a c k the concept of t h e i r own l i v e s ) . T o o l e y , and o t h e r s , remain undaunted 39 by t h i s r e s u l t . F u r t h e r m o r e , the Tooleyean view s u g g e s t s t h a t i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t neonates and young i n f a n t s can have any r i g h t s w h a t s o e v e r . I t can be argued t h a t , under the T o o l e y e a n view, i n o r d e r f o r d e s i r e s t o t r a n s l a t e i n t o prima f a c i e r i g h t s , we must f i r s t presuppose t h a t a person i s d o i n g the d e s i r i n g . Take f o r example the r i g h t to b o d i l y s e c u r i t y . I s i t not n e c e s s a r y i n o r d e r f o r someone t o d e s i r e not t o have h i s b o d i l y s e c u r i t y v i o l a t e d t h a t he have a concept of h i s ' s e l f e x i s t i n g i n a body of s p a t i o -t e m p o r a l c o n t i n u i t y ? S u r e l y any proposed Tooleyean r i g h t can be, and perhaps must be, c o n s t r u e d i n t h i s way? I t 5 0 seems t h a t ' d e s i r e s ' may not be s i m p l e t h i n g s . I t would seem t h a t d e s i r e s a r e n e c e s s a r i l y ' s e l f c e n t e r e d t h i n g s . I f I d e s i r e such and such f o r m y s e l f , then must I not have a concept of my s e l f as a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e s and o t h e r mental s t a t e s ? T o o l e y might o b j e c t t o the sweeping g e n e r a l i z a t i o n about r i g h t s ( i e . s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r r i g h t s ) which I suggest h i s g e n e r a l c l a i m c o n c e r n i n g r i g h t s l e a d s t o . Elsewhere he mentions t h a t k i t t e n s can have the r i g h t not t o be t o r t u r e d and, presumably, we can c o n c l u d e t h a t f e t u s e s c o u l d have the r i g h t not t o be s u b j e c t e d t o u n necessary p a i n when a b o r t i o n s a r e t o be performed on them. T o o l e y ' s e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h i s e x c e p t i o n i s t h a t — ...the d e s i r e not t o s u f f e r p a i n can be a s c r i b e d t o something w i t h o u t assuming t h a t i t i s c a p a b l e of e n v i s a g i n g a f u t u r e f o r i t s e l f , or of f o r m i n g the concept of a s e l f , or of b e i n g s e l f - c o n s c i o u s . For w h i l e something t h a t i s i n c a p a b l e of p o s s e s s i n g t h e concept of a s e l f cannot d e s i r e t h a t a s e l f not s u f f e r , i t can d e s i r e t h a t a g i v e n s e n s a t i o n not e x i s t . The s t a t e d e s i r e d — the absence of a p a r t i c u l a r s e n s a t i o n — can be d e s c r i b e d i n a p u r e l y p h e n o m e n a l i s t i c language, and hence w i t h o u t the concept of a c o n t i n u i n g s e l f . So l o n g as the newborn k i t t e n p o s s e s s e s the r e l e v a n t phenomenal c o n c e p t s , i t can t g u l y be s a i d t o d e s i r e t h a t a c e r t a i n s e n s a t i o n not e x i s t . One might wonder why i t i s t h a t t h e d e s i r e not t o s u f f e r p a i n can be the o n l y r u d i m e n t a r y t y p e of d e s i r e . Why 4 1 not i n c l u d e the d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e to e x p e r i e n c e p l e a s u r e ? I f such a d e s i r e were g r a n t e d f e t u s e s ( a t l e a s t l a t e - t e r m ) , then c o u l d not one i n f e r from the d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e t o e x p e r i e n c e p l e a s u r e a d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e t o l i v e i n o r d e r t o 51 e x p e r i e n c e c o n t i n u e d p l e a s u r e , a t l e a s t on a r u d i m e n t a r y l e v e l ? That i s , i s not the d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e t o e x p e r i e n c e p l e a s u r e an e x p r e s s i o n of the d e s i r e t o l i v e ? Some would argue t h a t any attempt t o d e r i v e a r i g h t t o l i f e from r u d i m e n t a r y d e s i r e s amounts t o g r a n t i n g a n i m a l s the r i g h t t o l i f e on the b a s i s of t h e i r i n s t i n c t u a l d e s i r e f o r s u r v i v a l . Only persons can have both i n s t i n c t u a l d e s i r e s ( f o r example w i t h d r a w i n g one's hand from a c c i d e n t a l c o n t a c t w i t h a hot s t o v e ) and c o n c e p t u a l d e s i r e s ( h a v i n g a concept of the r e l a t i o n between p a i n and one's $ s e l f ) . And, i t o n l y makes p r a c t i c a l sense to l i m i t r i g h t s t o those c a p a b l e of the l a t t e r . O t h e r w i s e , we would be p l a c i n g o u r s e l v e s i n the u n t e n a b l e p o s i t i o n of a t t e m p t i n g t o a s c e r t a i n the " d e s i r e s " of our a n i m a l p o p u l a t i o n . The c o n c l u s i o n here must be, I b e l i e v e , t h a t the Tooleyean view of r i g h t s can not embrace both c o n c e p t u a l and r u d i m e n t a r y d e s i r e s and s t i l l c o n s i s t e n t l y m a i n t a i n t h a t o n l y persons have the r i g h t t o l i f e . Of c o u r s e , one consequence of t h i s e n d - r e s u l t i s t h a t , i n p r i n c i p l e a t l e a s t , a n i m a l s and young i n f a n t s c o u l d be t o r t u r e d ( b e c a u s e t h e y l a c k the r i g h t not t o be t o r t u r e d ) . C l e a r l y , t h i s must be seen t o d e t r a c t from the Tooleyean t h e o r y of r i g h t s . To be s u r e , T o o l e y ' s account of r i g h t s i s not as s i m p l i s t i c and r i g i d as I have p o r t r a y e d . T o o l e y s e t s out f o u r c o n d i t i o n s under which r i g h t s can be v i o l a t e d : 52 (1) An a c t i o n i s performed a t time t t h a t p r e v e n t s s t a t e of a f f a i r s S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t * , and i n d i v i d u a l A d e s ^ e s a t time t t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t ^  • (2) An a c t i o n i s performed a t time t t h a t p r e v e n t s s t a t e of a f f a i r s S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t * , and a l t h o u g h i n d i v i d u a l A i s not c a p a b l e a t t i m e t of d e s i r i n g e i t h e r t h a t S o b t a i n a t time t * , (a) t h e r e i s some time i n t e r v a l , i m m e d i a t e l y p r e c e d i n g t h a t i n which A i s i n c a p a b l e of d e s i r i n g e i t h e r t h a t S o b t a i n or t h a t S not o b t a i n a t time t * , d u r i n g which A d i d d e s i r e t h a t S o b t a i n a t time t * , and (b) i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e r e w i l l be some l a t e r time t 1 a t which A would, i f A were t o e x i s t a t t h a t - t i m e , d e s i r e t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t'.*. (3) An a c t i o n i s performed a t time t ' t h a t p r e v e n t s s t a t e of a f f a i r s S from o b t a i n i n g at time t ' * , and a l t h o u g h i n d i v i d u a l A does not d e s i r e a t time t ' t h a t S o b t a i n a t time t ' * , e i t h e r because A i s i n c a p a b l e of h a v i n g t h a t d e s i r e , or because t h e r e i s some r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t A does not posses s at t h a t t i m e , t h e r e i s some l a t e r time t a t which A w i l l e x i s t and a t which he w i l l d e s i r e t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t * . And f i n a l l y , t he a c t i o n t h a t p r e v e n t e d S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t ' * a l s o p r e v e n t s S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t * . (4) A l l of the f o l l o w i n g t h i n g s a r e t r u e : 1. An a c t i o n i s performed a t time t ' which p r e v e n t s s t a t e of a f f a i r s S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t ' * ; 2. I n d i v i d u a l A does not d e s i r e a t time t " t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t ' * because one or more of the f o l l o w i n g t h i n g s i s the c a s e : ( i ) I n d i v i d u a l A i s i n c a p a b l e of h a v i n g such a d e s i r e a t time t ' ; ( i i ) I n d i v i d u a l A l a c k s c e r t a i n r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n ; ( i i i ) I n d i v i d u a l A has been s u b j e c t e d e i t h e r t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n i n g o r t o p h y s i o l o g i c a l t r e a t m e n t t h a t has made i t the case t h a t he does not d e s i r e a t time t ' t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t ' * . 3. There i s some time t , e i t h e r i d e n t i c a l w i t h t ' or l a t e r than t ' , a t which a l l of the f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s w i l l o b t a i n : ( i ) I n d i v i d u a l A w i l l e x i s t a t time t ; ( i i ) A w i l l be c a p a b l e a t time t of d e s i r i n g t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t * ; ( i i i ) I n d i v i d u a l A would d e s i r e a t time t t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n a t time t * i f he 53 had not been s u b j e c t e d e i t h e r t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n i n g or t o p h y s i o l o g i c a l t r e a t m e n t t o b r i n g i t about t h a t he not d e s i r e t h a t s t a t e of a f f a i r s S o b t a i n at time t * ; 4. The a c t i o n t h a t p r e v e n t e d s t a t e of a f f a i r s S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t ' * . a l s o p r e v e n t s S from o b t a i n i n g a t time t * . C o n d i t i o n (2) a l l o w s one t o say t h a t persons who a r e t e m p o r a r i l y u n c o n s c i o u s p r e s e n t l y have r i g h t s t h a t can be v i o l a t e d ( c l a u s e ( a ) ) , but p e r s o n s i n an i r r e v e r s i b l e coma do n o t ( c l a u s e ( b ) ) . T ooley a s s e r t s t h a t the c o r r e c t account of c o n d i t i o n (3) i s t h a t an a c t i o n may be wrong now "because i t 46 v i o l a t e s a r i g h t t h a t the pers o n w i l l l a t e r have." C o n s e q u e n t l y , f e t u s e s and neonates do not get p r e s e n t r i g h t s out of c o n d i t i o n ( 3 ) . C o n d i t i o n ( 3 ) a l s o a l l o w s one t o say t h a t a person can have a r i g h t t o S w i t h o u t h a v i n g , o r h a v i n g had, the c o r r e s p o n d i n g d e s i r e f o r S due t o h i s h a v i n g a l a c k of the r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n , so l o n g as he w i l l l a t e r come t o d e s i r e S. A p o s s i b l e o b j e c t i o n t o (3) i s the s i t u a t i o n where the a c t i o n a t time t ' e f f e c t i v e l y f r u s t r a t e s the c a p a c i t y of the s u b j e c t t o ever d e s i r e S . For example, d e l i b e r a t e l y d e s t r o y i n g the p a r t s of the b r a i n i n a neonate r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i g h e r o r d e r m e n t a t i o n . One might w o n d e r — why the requirement t h a t S be d e s i r e d some time i n the f u t u r e ? S u r e l y , i t i s c l e a r t h a t had such a neonate been a l l o w e d t o d e v e l o p h i g h e r o r d e r m e n t a t i o n i t would have found such m e n t a t i o n d e s i r a b l e . C o n d i t i o n (4) a l l o w s one t o say' t h a t s u b j e c t s whose 54 d e s i r e s have been "warped" by p s y c h o l o g i c a l or p h y s i o l o g i c a l means not t o d e s i r e S, may n e v e r t h e l e s s have the r i g h t t o S v i o l a t e d i f t h e r e i s some time a t which the s u b j e c t i s or w i l l be c a p a b l e of w i s h i n g t h a t the S - d e p r i v i n g a c t i o n had not o c c u r r e d , and a t which he would so w i s h had he not been so "warped". Once a g a i n , we see i n c o n d i t i o n (4) the r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t the s u b j e c t a c q u i r e p e r s o n h o o d ( c l a u s e s 3.(1) and 3 . ( 2 ) ) , w i t h o u t which no r i g h t t o S can be v i o l a t e d . Thus, i f one were t o d e l i b e r a t e l y u n d e r t a k e a program of "warping" a neonate's d e s i r e s , as l o n g as the c h i l d d i e d ( e v e n by murder) b e f o r e i t a c q u i r e d personhood, no r i g h t s ( o f the c h i l d ) would t h e r e b y be v i o l a t e d . A c o n s i s t e n t t h r e a d i n T o o l e y ' s r i g h t s t h e o r y i s t h a t i n o r d e r f o r a s u b j e c t t o have r i g h t s we must know t h a t the s u b j e c t e i t h e r i s or was a p e r s o n , or w i l l a c q u i r e personhood some time i n t h e f u t u r e . In (1) the s u b j e c t must p r e s e n t l y be a p e r s o n . In (2) the s u b j e c t must p r e v i o u s l y have been a p e r s o n . I n (3) and (4) t h e s u b j e c t must become a person some time i n t h e f u t u r e . In T o o l e y ' s own words "one i s not t o c o n s i d e r the d e s i r e s t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l would have i f he were t o e x i s t a t 47 c e r t a i n t i m e s a t which he i n f a c t w i l l not e x i s t " . We w i l l c o n s i d e r i n d e t a i l T o o l e y ' s j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s . . . 48 s t i p u l a t i o n i n Chapter I I . What f o l l o w s i n the remainder of t h i s Chapter i s i n t e n d e d t o s e r v e as a p r e l i m i n a r y r e j o i n d e r t o T o o l e y ' s b a s i c i d e a about the n e c e s s a r y 55 c o n n e c t i o n between r i g h t s and d e s i r e s . S e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s as an a t t r i b u t e i s c e r t a i n l y a m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e which c o u l d s e r v e t o form the b a s i s of the d i s t i n c t i o n between th o s e i n d i v i d u a l s who can be c o n s i d e r e d t o be moral a g e n t s , from those who cannot. A p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t need not q u a r r e l w i t h t h i s . However, Tooleyean r i g h t s t h e o r y f a i l s t o show more than t h i s . A d e s i r e , or a t l e a s t an absence of d e s i r e f o r a p a r t i c u l a r t h i n g , may a t times be r e l e v a n t when i n d i v i d u a l s w ish t o f o r e g o t h e i r r i g h t t o a t h i n g ( t h e g i v i n g of g i f t s , f o r e g o i n g o p t i o n s t o buy e t c . ) . However, t h e r e i s a fundamental sense i n which d e s i r e s have no b e a r i n g on r i g h t s . Can any one r e a l l y waive h i s / h e r fundamental human r i g h t s ? There i s a sense i n which we b e l i e v e t h a t p e o p l e have fundamental human r i g h t s ( e s p e c i a l l y the r i g h t t o l i f e ) r e g a r d l e s s of the n a t u r e of t h e i r own d e s i r e s w i t h r e s p e c t t o them. Do we r e a l l y c a r e , of someone t h a t has been murdered, t h a t he d i d not r e a l l y d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e t o l i v e ? I t h i n k n o t . When fundamental human r i g h t s a r e i n v o l v e d , we tend t o view v i o l a t i o n s of them as an a f f r o n t t o a l l of us i n a s o c i e t y ( o r even t o mankind as a w h o l e ) . The r i g h t t o l i f e , our c o n c e r n h e r e , can a r g u a b l y be c o n s i d e r e d t o be the most fundamental of human moral r i g h t s and hence what has been s a i d must be a l l the more p e r s u a s i v e . We have seen t h a t the i n t e g r i t y of a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p r i n c i p l e framed i n terms of the r i g h t t o l i f e 56 can be s e c u r e d . T h i s i s t o say t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t can g r a n t the f e t u s a r i g h t t o l i f e w i t h o u t t h e r e b y 49 c o m m i t t i n g h i m s e l f t o o b v i o u s a b s u r d i t i e s , c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , or i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s . Moreover, he can not t h e r e b y be shown t o be p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a r b i t r a r y . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t can l e g i t i m a t e l y c l a i m , I b e l i e v e , t h a t h i s p o s i t i o n i s t e n a b l e . But what can he say t o the d i s p a s s i o n a t e and n o n - p a r t i s a n o b s e r v e r t o recommend h i s p o s i t i o n over h i s opponents'. We now t u r n t o t h i s q u e s t i o n . 57 CHAPTER I I POTENTIALITY OR ACTUALITY? A. The Feinberq/Benn a n a l y s i s We have seen t h a t a w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n can a d e q u a t e l y answer o b j e c t i o n s which impugn i t on the b a s i s of u n w o r k a b i l i t y or a r b i t r a r i n e s s . We now t u r n t o a f u r t h e r avenue of c r i t i c i s m , one which i s e n c a p s u l a t e d by 50 J o e l F e m b e r g and S t a n l e y Benn. T h i s w i l l s e r v e , moreover, as a d e p a r t u r e p o i n t f o r f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n and c l a r i f i c a t i o n of i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e s of a w e l l - d e f i n e d p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n . The r e m a i n i n g d i f f i c u l t y f o r the s t r i c t p o t e n t i a l i t y c r i t e r i o n i s much more s e r i o u s . I t i s a l o g i c a l e r r o r , some have c h a r g e d , t o deduce a c t u a l r i g h t s from m e r e l y p o t e n t i a l ( b u t not y e t a c t u a l ) q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r those r i g h t s . What f o l l o w s from p o t e n t i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n , i t i s s a i d , i s p o t e n t i a l not a c t u a l , r i g h t s ; what e n t a i l s a c t u a l r i g h t s i s a c t u a l , not p o t e n t i a l , q u a l i f i c a t i o n . As the A u s t r a l i a n p h i l o s o p h e r S t a n l e y Benn p u t s i t , "A p o t e n t i a l p r e s i d e n t of the U n i t e d S t a t e s i s not on t h a t account Commander-in-Chief(of the U.S. Army and Navy)." T h i s s i m p l e p o i n t can be c a l l e d " the l o g i c a l p o i n t about p o t e n t i a l i t y " . Taken on i t s own terms, I don't see how i t can be answered as an o b j e c t i o n t o the s t r i c t p o t e n t i a l i t y c r i t e r i o n . I t i s s t i l l open t o an a n t i - a b o r t i o n i s t t o argue t h a t merely p o t e n t i a l common sense personhood i s a ground f o r d u t i e s we may have toward the p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n . But he cannot argue t h a t i t i s the ground f o r the p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n ' s r i g h t s w i t h o u t c o m m i t t i n g a l o g i c a l e r r o r . On a c e r t a i n r e a d i n g of the above passage, i t appears t h a t F e i n b e r g i s making a r a t h e r t r i v i a l and o b v i o u s p o i n t . That i s , g i v e n t h a t the f e t u s i s o n l y p o t e n t i a l l y q u a l i f i e d f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , i t would be i l l o g i c a l t o conclude from t h i s p o t e n t i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n t h a t the f e t u s has a r i g h t 58 t o l i f e . However, th e whole t e n o r of the passage ( e s p e c i a l l y the f i r s t sentence and l a s t two s e n t e n c e s ) s u g g e s t s t h a t F e i n b e r g i s making a number of i m p l i c i t c l a i m s and arguments which go f a r beyond the t r i v i a l and o b v i o u s p o i n t . The Feinberg/Benn a n a l y s i s assumes t h a t a p o t e n t i a l p e rson i s o n l y p o t e n t i a l l y q u a l i f i e d f o r any of the r i g h t s of a c t u a l p e r s o n : " I t i s a l o g i c a l e r r o r . . . t o deduce a c t u a l r i g h t s from m e r e l y p o t e n t i a l ( b u t not y e t a c t u a l ) q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r t h o s e r i g h t s . " The p r e s i d e n t of the U.S. a n a l o g y i s t o u t e d as a d e c i s i v e i n s t a n t i a t i o n of the " l o g i c a l p o i n t about p o t e n t i a l i t y " . However, t h e r e i s a fundamental d i s a n a l o g y between the r i g h t t o l i f e i s s u e and the r i g h t t o e x e r c i s e supreme command over the U.S. Army and Navy. Everybody a g r e e s i n the l a t t e r case t h a t the r e q u i s i t e q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r r i g h t a s c r i p t i o n i s a c t u a l l y b e i n g the U.S. p r e s i d e n t . In the r i g h t t o l i f e i s s u e i t i s e x a c t l y what the r e q u i s i t e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s a r e f o r t h i s r i g h t which forms the b a s i s of the d i s p u t e . To assume t h a t a p o t e n t i a l person i s o n l y p o t e n t i a l l y q u a l i f i e d f o r the r i g h t 52 t o l i f e i s t o beg t h e q u e s t i o n . The so c a l l e d " l o g i c a l p o i n t about p o t e n t i a l i t y " i t s e l f i m p l i c i t l y c o n t a i n s a l o g i c a l e r r o r . To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g : a l l a c t u a l persons have eyes, t h e r e f o r e a l l p o t e n t i a l p ersons can o n l y p o t e n t i a l l y have eyes. The l a t t e r argument f a l l a c i o u s l y presumes t h a t a c t u a l 59 and p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s can not share common t r a i t s or p r o p e r t i e s . I s i t n e c e s s a r i l y a b s u r d t h a t a c t u a l persons and p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s have some r i g h t s i n common? C o n s i d e r the r i g h t not t o be s u b j e c t e d t o c r u e l and unusual punishment or t r e a t m e n t . These a r e r i g h t s under the Canadian C h a r t e r of R i g h t s a s s i g n e d t o n e o n a t e s ( p o t e n t i a l 53 persons) as w e l l as p e r s o n s . Moreover, i t may even be t r u e t h a t some non-persons such as dogs, s a y, have a r i g h t i n common w i t h p e r s o n s ( p o s s i b l y the r i g h t not t o be t o r t u r e d ) . C l e a r l y , i t i s i l l o g i c a l t o c o n c l u d e from the f a c t t h a t persons have the r i g h t t o l i f e t h a t t h e r e f o r e p o t e n t i a l persons can o n l y be p o t e n t i a l l y q u a l i f i e d f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . F o r , such a c o n c l u s i o n would r e q u i r e the presumption t h a t p o t e n t i a l p ersons can not have any r i g h t s i n common w i t h a c t u a l p e r s o n s . And s u r e l y such a presumption can not be p e r m i t t e d w i t h o u t e x t e n s i v e and r a t h e r f o r m i d a b l e a r g u m e n t a t i o n . The ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' of 'a p o t e n t i a l p r e s i d e n t of the U.S.' and ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' of ' p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n ' are i m p r o p e r l y equated as one and the same i n the Feinberg/Benn a n a l y s i s . As d e l i n e a t e d e a r l i e r , when a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t a l k s about p o t e n t i a l f o r personhood he means the g e n e t i c c a p a c i t y f o r the v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s — of what w i l l come about through the normal p h y s i o l o g i c a l development of a human b e i n g . To say t h a t I am a p o t e n t i a l p i l o t or t e a c h e r , f o r example, i s t o t a l k about what i s 6 0 w i t h i n my power or a b i l i t y t o do i f I make c e r t a i n d e c i s i o n s and meet c e r t a i n q u a l i f i c a t i o n s — f u l f i l c e r t a i n e d u c a t i o n a l r e q u i r e m e n t s . Such p o t e n t i a l i t y i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y about i n t e n t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r . To say t h a t one i s a p o t e n t i a l p r e s i d e n t , a l t h o u g h somewhat r e l a t e d t o one's powers and d e c i s i o n s , i s more l i k e s a y i n g t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t one may become p r e s i d e n t i f c e r t a i n e v e n t s , l a r g e l y o u t s i d e one's c o n t r o l , o c c u r . Such p o t e n t i a l i t y i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y about the p o s s i b i l i t y of c e r t a i n e v e n t s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , y e t c l e a r l y , p o t e n t i a l i t y has many meanings. I suggest t h a t i t i s an e q u i v o c a t i o n t o argue t h a t s i n c e a p o t e n t i a l p r e s i d e n t i s o n l y p o t e n t i a l l y e n t i t l e d t o the r i g h t s of a p r e s i d e n t then i t must be the case t h a t a p o t e n t i a l person i s o n l y p o t e n t i a l l y e n t i t l e d t o the r i g h t s of a p e r s o n . The Feinberg/Benn a n a l y s i s , though s e d u c t i v e a t f i r s t g l a n c e , p roves unsound. However, I b e l i e v e t h a t i t p o i n t s t o the l e s s o n t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t may do b e t t e r t o a l t e r h i s v o c a b u l a r y i n o r d e r t o c l a r i f y the c o n f u s i o n about ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' . Many commentators on the a b o r t i o n 54 i s s u e have a l r e a d y done so. They no l o n g e r speak e x c l u s i v e l y i n terms of p o t e n t i a l / a c t u a l p e r s o n s , but i n terms of developed/undeveloped g e n e t i c c a p a c i t i e s f o r v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I b e l i e v e t h i s more p r e c i s e v o c a b u l a r y w i l l s e r v e t o b r i n g the d i s p u t e i n t o s h a r p e r f o c u s and c i r c u m v e n t the a m b i g u i t i e s of the language of 61 p o t e n t i a l i t y . Under t h i s scheme, t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t i s u n d e r s t o o d t o c l a i m t h a t w i t h c o n c e p t i o n a human b e i n g has the r i g h t t o l i f e because from t h a t moment on i t has the g e n e t i c c a p a c i t y , though undeveloped, f o r the v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . The opponents of p o t e n t i a l i t y a s s e r t t h a t f u l l y d e veloped g e n e t i c c a p a c i t y f o r the v a l u e d s t a t e s i s r e q u i r e d f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . The d i s p u t e then i s l a r g e l y about what k i n d of c a p a c i t y i s r e q u i r e d — d e v e l o p e d or undeveloped. In or d e r t o a v o i d p o s s i b l e problems about the concept of c a p a c i t y , I s h o u l d note t h a t I am here s i m p l y u s i n g 'undeveloped c a p a c i t y ' t o denote ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' as d e l i n e a t e d e a r l i e r and 'developed c a p a c i t y ' t o denote ' a c t u a l i t y ' . 6 2 B. Developed or undeveloped c a p a c i t y ? In o r d e r t o r e s o l v e the d i s p u t e i n h i s f a v o u r , the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t r e s o r t s t o a f u r t h e r r e f i n e m e n t of h i s argument. I s i t the p r i o r presence of the v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s combined w i t h t h e i r e x p e c t e d e x i s t e n c e i n the f u t u r e t h a t i s n e c e s s a r y and s u f f i c i e n t f o r a r i g h t t o l i f e , or i s i t merely t h e i r e x p e c t e d e x i s t e n c e i n the f u t u r e t h a t i s n e c e s s a r y and s u f f i c i e n t . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t argues f o r the l a t t e r p o s i t i o n and h i s opponents i n c l i n e toward the former. Le t us c o n s i d e r some of the v a r i o u s p o s s i b l e c o m b i n a t i o n s of p a s t , p r e s e n t and f u t u r e c a p a c i t i e s f o r v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I t i s c l e a r t h a t the p r e s e n t e x i s t e n c e of v a l u e d s t a t e s i s not n e c e s s a r y f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , o t h e r w i s e t e m p o r a r i l y u n c o n s c i o u s persons would l o s e t h e i r r i g h t t o l i f e . I t i s a l s o c l e a r t h a t the p r i o r e x i s t e n c e of v a l u e d s t a t e s a l o n e i s not s u f f i c i e n t f o r a r i g h t t o l i f e , o t h e r w i s e dead human c o r p s e s would r e t a i n a r i g h t t o l i f e . A l t h o u g h one might be p r e p a r e d t o say t h a t 5 5 p r e s e n t combined w i t h p r i o r p o s s e s s i o n of v a l u e d s t a t e s i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , t h e c o m b i n a t i o n i s not n e c e s s a r y as the case of temporary u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s d e m o n s t r a t e s . The case of p r e s e n t combined w i t h f u t u r e p o s s e s s i o n of v a l u e d s t a t e s ^ i s r a t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g . A g a i n , one might be p r e p a r e d t o say t h a t p r e s e n t combined w i t h f u t u r e p o s s e s s i o n of v a l u e d s t a t e s i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r the 63 r i g h t t o l i f e , but the c o m b i n a t i o n i s not n e c e s s a r y . However, t h i s case would then suggest t h a t the p r i o r p o s s e s s i o n of v a l u e d s t a t e s i s not n e c e s s a r y t o the r i g h t t o l i f e , a c o n c l u s i o n t h a t many opponents of p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y almost c e r t a i n l y would w i s h t o a v o i d . The q u e s t i o n remains, however, whether the p r i o r e x i s t e n c e of v a l u e d s t a t e s i s n e c e s s a r y f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . M i c h a e l T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n example w i l l s e r v e as a u s e f u l s t a r t i n g p o i n t i n our a n a l y s i s of t h i s c r u c i a l 57 i s s u e : L e t us suppose t h a t t e c h n o l o g y has advanced t o t h e p o i n t , f i r s t , where i t i s p o s s i b l e t o c o n s t r u c t humans i n the l a b o r a t o r y from i n o r g a n i c compounds. Second, t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o f r e e z e a n i m a l s , i n c l u d i n g humans, and th e n t o thaw them out w i t h o u t damaging them. T h i r d , t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o program b e l i e f s , d e s i r e s , p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s , and so on i n t o an organism by b r i n g i n g about c e r t a i n b r a i n s t a t e s . G i v e n t h e s e t e c h n o l o g i c a l advances, suppose t h a t we put t o g e t h e r an a d u l t human i n the l a b o r a t o r y , c a r r y i n g out the c o n s t r u c t i o n a t a temperature a t which the o r g a n i s m i s f r o z e n . We program i n some happy s e t of b e l i e f s , d e s i r e s , and p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s . I f we now thaw out the organism, we w i l l have a c o n s c i o u s , a d u l t human w i t h b e l i e f s , d e s i r e s , and a d i s t i n c t p e r s o n a l i t y . But what i f , as a r e s u l t of a l l t h i s work, we have d e v e l o p e d ravenous a p p e t i t e s , and r a t h e r than thawing out the organism, we g r i n d i t up f o r hamburgers? Our a c t i o n might be e c o n o m i c a l l y unwise and s u b j e c t t o c u l i n a r y o b j e c t i o n s , but would i t be open t o moral c r i t i c i s m ? I n p a r t i c u l a r , would we be g u i l t y of murdering an in n o c e n t person? I t h i n k most p e o p l e would agree t h a t the answer i s no. U n t i l t he organism has been brought t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and u n t i l i t e n v i s a g e s a f u t u r e f o r i t s e l f , and has hopes and d e s i r e s about such a f u t u r e , one does not v i o l a t e anyone's r i g h t t o l i f e by d e s t r o y i n g the o r g a n i s m . F i r s t o f f , we s h o u l d see t h a t T ooley has muddled the i s s u e somewhat. That i s , he asks i f one would be g u i l t y of murder i n g an in n o c e n t person by d e s t r o y i n g the f r o z e n 6 4 F r a n k e n s t e i n and i n f e r s from the n e g a t i v e answer t h a t no one's r i g h t t o l i f e would t h e r e b y be v i o l a t e d . T o o l e y f o r g e t s t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t might w e l l agree t h a t no i n n o c e n t person had been k i l l e d , but a r i g h t t o l i f e had been v i o l a t e d n e v e r t h e l e s s . T o o l e y ' s i n v o c a t i o n of "what most p e o p l e " would t h i n k s h o u l d make us f e e l uneasy i n view of the r a t h e r f a n t a s t i c n a t u r e of h i s example. I t appears then t h a t h i s argument f o r the p r i o r n e c e s s i t y of v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s depends almost e x c l u s i v e l y on t h i s r a t h e r d u b i o u s a p p e a l t o i n t u i t i o n . There a r e t h r e e i m p o r t a n t d i s a n a l o g i e s w h i c h s h o u l d be noted between the a b o r t i o n i s s u e and T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n example. F i r s t , j u s t as i n the case of the t e r m i n a l l y i l l or the r e v e r s i b l y comatose, we may not always have a duty t o take e x t r a o r d i n a r y measures t o b r i n g about l i f e i n our f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n even i f he was e n t i t l e d t o the r i g h t t o l i f e . That i s , a l t h o u g h the t e r m i n a l l y i l l and the r e v e r s i b l y comatose may have the r i g h t t o l i f e , t h i s r i g h t does not n e c e s s a r i l y impose a c o r r e s p o n d i n g d u t y t o t a k e every p o s s i b l e measure t o ensure c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e . The a l l o c a t i o n of s c a r c e m e d i c a l r e s o u r c e s i s a d i f f i c u l t and c o n t r o v e r s i a l t o p i c i t s e l f , and I w i l l say no more about i t . The f e t u s , however, i s i n a c o m p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n . There i s no q u e s t i o n h e r e , a t l e a s t i n the s t a n d a r d c a s e , of a duty t o t a k e measures t o ensure c o n t i n u e d l i f e , but r a t h e r 65 a duty t o r e f r a i n from t a k i n g measures which t e r m i n a t e l i f e . A l t h o u g h , I r e a l i z e t h a t T ooley has framed h i s example so as t o a v o i d the p o s s i b l e problems of the a c t i v e / p a s s i v e 59 d i s t i n c t i o n , I b e l i e v e the d i s t i n c t i o n I have drawn i s i m p o r t a n t n o n e t h e l e s s i n view of T o o l e y ' s broad a p p e a l t o our i n t u i t i o n s about t h e f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n ' s s i t u a t i o n . S e c o n d l y , the f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n i s not and never has been a l i v i n g b e i n g . There a r e r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t i n t u i t i v e responses i n v o l v e d h e r e , i e . between one's response t o the d e s t r u c t i o n of inanim a t e and animate o b j e c t s . I am sure t h a t T ooley would argue t h a t the d i f f e r e n c e stems from the absence of p r i o r v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . That i s , i f i n s t e a d of our F r a n k e n s t e i n we s u b s t i t u t e d a per s o n who had become f r o z e n i n a chance mishap of some k i n d then our i n t u i t i o n s about h i s d e s t r u c t i o n would be r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t . T h i s d i f f e r e n c e would be accounted f o r by the p r i o r presence of v a l u e d s t a t e s combined w i t h t h e e x p e c t a t i o n of f u t u r e s t a t e s ( i n v i r t u e of the advanced t e c h n o l o g i c a l methods). T h i r d l y and f i n a l l y , the f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n i s not a p o t e n t i a l person i n accordance w i t h the d e l i n e a t i o n of p o t e n t i a l i t y ' l a i d - o u t i n our p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r . T h i s d i s s i m i l a r i t y i s f a t a l t o T o o l e y ' s o s t e n s i b l e aims here. That i s , the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t i s not r e q u i r e d out of c o n s i s t e n c y t o s u p p o r t the r i g h t t o l i f e of the f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n as T o o l e y seems t o su g g e s t . R e c a l l , A r i s t o t l e 66 wrote t h a t not u n t i l t he e f f i c i e n t c a u s e ( t h a t by which change i s wrought) of g e n e r a t i o n i s i n t e r n a l t o a t h i n g can i t be c o n s i d e r e d a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n ( s e e p . 2 2 ) . C l e a r l y our f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n i s not such a t h i n g . The f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n q u i t e o b v i o u s l y r e q u i r e s c o n s i d e r a b l e human i n t e r v e n t i o n ( t h e " t h a w i n g - o u t " p r o c e s s ) u n t i l i t s body can be s a i d t o be s e l f - g e n e r a t i v e or a l i v e . Of c o u r s e , s i n c e T o o l e y ' s account of how e x a c t l y a f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n would h y p o t h e t i c a l l y go from the f r o z e n s t a t e t o the a c t u a l i z e d person s t a g e i s c o n v e n i e n t l y o m i t t e d , we can o n l y s p e c u l a t e on the s p e c i f i c s of t h i s p o i n t . However, i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t such a p r o c e s s would be as s i m p l e as l e a v i n g a f r o z e n package of hamburger on the c o u n t e r t o thaw-out. But even i f i t were t h a t s i m p l e , i t would s t i l l r e q u i r e some p o s i t i v e a c t ( f l i p p i n g the d e f r o s t s w i t c h ? ; t a k i n g the F r a n k e n s t e i n out of t h e f r e e z e r ? ) . 1 . P o t e n t i a l i t y i n f o c u s B e f o r e r e t u r n i n g t o our o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n ( t h e p r i o r n e c e s s i t y of v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s ) , i t would perhaps be u s e f u l t o c l a r i f y some l o o s e ends about ' p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s ' t h a t T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n example i n d i r e c t l y e l i c i t s . For example, are t e s t - t u b e z y g o t e s ( a s i n i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d t e s t - t u b e b a b i e s ) p o t e n t i a l p e rsons? R e c a l l , t h e p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t i s a l r e a d y committed t o the view t h a t i n v i v o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e s a r e p o t e n t i a l 6 7 p e r s o n s , and hence, the use of the I.U.D.(prevents i m p l a n t a t i o n of the z y g o t e on the i n t r a - u t e r i n e w a l l ) , which p r e v e n t s the z y g o t e ' s development i n t o a p e r s o n , c o n s t i t u t e s a v i o l a t i o n of the r i g h t t o l i f e of such a z y g o t e . T h e r e f o r e , f o r the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o deny a r i g h t t o l i f e t o i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e s might seem a r b i t r a r y . Moreover, t h e r e i s no doubt t h a t the i n v i t r o zygote meets the A r i s t o t e l i a n c r i t e r i o n of i n t e r n a l g e n e r a t i o n . The q u e s t i o n of concern here i s whether the g e n e t i c a l l y normal n o n - i m p l a n t e d i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e can be s a i d t o be such t h a t , w i t h o u t e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e , i t can be e x p e c t e d t o d e v e l o p i n t o a p e r s o n . R e c a l l , i n g e n e r a l , i t i s not c o n s i d e r e d t o be a v i o l a t i o n of some endangered p e r s o n ' s r i g h t t o l i f e t o r e f r a i n from s a v i n g him. However, i f one i s d i r e c t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r someone needing t o be saved i t i s a g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d p r i n c i p l e t h a t one must un d e r t a k e a c t i o n s t o do so. T h e r e f o r e , i f i t t u r n s out t h a t t e s t - t u b e z y g o t e s a r e p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s , a c o m p e l l i n g case can be made t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t must support the n o t i o n t h a t the gamete donors, and perhaps even the m e d i c a l d o c t o r s i n v o l v e d , a r e c o l l e c t i v e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r e n s u r i n g the c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e of such z y g o t e s . However, i f such a case can not be s u c c e s s f u l l y made, the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t need not be committed t o the view t h a t f a i l u r e t o p r o v i d e systems of s u p p o r t ( n a m e l y i n t r a - u t e r i n e i m p l a n t a t i o n of i n v i t r o z y g o t e s ) v i o l a t e s a r i g h t t o l i f e . I n any c a s e , t o 68 d e l i b e r a t e l y u ndertake a c t s which d e s t r o y i n v i t r o z y g o t e s or i n some a c t i v e ( a s opposed t o p a s s i v e ) way i n t e r f e r e w i t h t h e i r development may be m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o mur d e r ( g i v e n such z y g o t e s have a r i g h t t o l i f e i n the f i r s t p l a c e ) . T h e r e f o r e , we must f i r s t endeavour t o answer the q u e s t i o n — must a c a n d i d a t e f o r the s t a t u s of p o t e n t i a l person be i n a p o s i t i o n whereby absent o n l y e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e i t can be e x p e c t e d t o d e v e l o p i n t o a p e r s o n , o r , absent b o t h e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e and s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n i t can be expected t o d e v e l o p i n t o a person? L e t us examine the former view of ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' . With s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n , i n v i v o p r e n a t e s , neonates and young i n f a n t s a l l can be e x p e c t e d i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s t o d e v e l o p i n t o p e r s o n s ; hence, under t h i s view they would a l l be p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s . But can i t t r u l y be s a i d , i n view of the c u r r e n t i m p e r f e c t t e c h n o l o g y i n v o l v e d , t h a t i n v i t r o p r e n a t e s , w i t h s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n ( m e d i c a l d o c t o r s , female r e c i p i e n t s ) , can be e x p e c t e d i n the normal c o u r s e of a f f a i r s t o d e v e l o p i n t o p e r s o n s ? That i s , i t i s a f a c t t h a t i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e s o f t e n do not " t a k e " upon i m p l a n t a t i o n . Does t h i s d i m i n i s h e d e x p e c t a t i o n of development impact on t h e i r p o t e n t i a l i t y ? I b e l i e v e an answer here can be found i n the p a r a l l e l w i t h s e v e r e l y premature b a b i e s . The p r o s p e c t s of many premature b a b i e s ar e poor w i t h c u r r e n t i n c u b a t i o n t e c h n o l o g y . Are such b a b i e s t h e r e f o r e not t o be c o n s i d e r e d p o t e n t i a l p e rsons? I 6 9 b e l i e v e the common i n t u i t i o n would be t o the c o n t r a r y . I n t u i t i o n s a s i d e , r e c a l l i n our p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r , i n our c o n s i d e r a t i o n of spontaneous a b o r t i o n s , we d i s c o v e r e d t h a t i t made good sense t o g i v e broad scope t o the n o t i o n of " e x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e " . E x t e r n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e i s s i m p l y a n y t h i n g t h a t p r e v e n t s something from becoming what by n a t u r e i t can be. J u s t as a f e t u s ' p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood i s not d i m i n i s h e d because twenty p e r c e n t of a l l f e t u s e s w i l l undergo spontaneous a b o r t i o n s , so t o o must we view the f a i l u r e t o " t a k e " of i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e s and the de a t h of premature b a b i e s . What u l t i m a t e l y m a t t e r s t h e n , i s a t h i n g ' s i n t e r n a l or i n h e r e n t c a p a c i t i e s , not i t s e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . T h e r e f o r e , under the former view.of 1 p o t e n t i a l i t y ' i n v i t r o p r e n a t e s a r e p o t e n t i a l p ersons and a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would be committed t o t h e i r h a v i n g a r i g h t t o l i f e . Under the l a t t e r view of ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' i t i s c l e a r t h a t b o t h i n v i v o and i n v i t r o p r e n a t e s , neonates, and young i n f a n t s a l l would not have the r i g h t t o l i f e . That i s , w i t h o u t s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n t h e s e t y p e s of i n d i v i d u a l s would s i m p l y d i e . I t i s h i g h l y u n l i k e l y t h a t p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s would want t o endorse t h i s v e r s i o n of ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' . And, i n view of A r i s t o t l e ' s w r i t i n g s , i t would seem t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would be on f i r m ground i n r e j e c t i n g i t . That i s , i t i s c l e a r t h a t A r i s t o t l e e n v i s i o n e d a concept of p o t e n t i a l i t y under which i t would 70 t u r n out t h a t p r e n a t e s a r e p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s . ^ Now t h a t we have d e t e r m i n e d t h a t i n v i t r o p r e n a t e s are p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s , we must ask whether the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t must view the f a i l u r e t o p r o v i d e systems of s u p p o r t ( i n t r a - u t e r i n e i m p l a n t a t i o n ) as a v i o l a t i o n of such a p r e n a t e ' s r i g h t s . There a r e two ways under which a p o s s i b l e d e m o n s t r a t i o n of r i g h t v i o l a t i o n c o u l d be u n d e r t a k e n . F i r s t , one c o u l d argue t h a t f a i l u r e t o p r o v i d e systems of s u p p o r t i s a v i o l a t i o n of an i n v i t r o p r e n a t e ' s r i g h t t o l i f e i n the same way as the f a i l u r e t o save an endangered pe r s o n ' s l i f e , by those d i r e c t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r him needing t o be saved, i s a v i o l a t i o n of such a person's r i g h t t o l i f e . For example, i f Bob pushes B i l K w h o can not swim) o f f a r a f t i n t o deep water, then Bob must attempt t o save B i l l ' s l i f e . For Bob t o s i m p l y shrug h i s s h o u l d e r s and s a y — " I c a n ' t h e l p i t i f B i l l c a n ' t swim"-- i s u n a c c e p t a b l e . Bob may not i n g e n e r a l have an o b l i g a t i o n t o save endangered l i v e s , but i f he i s d i r e c t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r someone needing t o be saved, then he must do so. The a n a l o g y t o i n v i t r o p r e n a t e s c o u l d be framed i n the f o l l o w i n g way. To d e l i b e r a t e l y c r e a t e , i n v i t r o , a z y g o t e , i n c a p a b l e of b e i n g s u s t a i n e d throughout i t s development i n the environment p r o v i d e d , i s m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o Bob p u s h i n g B i l l i n t o the w a t e r . To s i m p l y l e t the i n v i t r o z y g o t e d i e i s m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o Bob l e t t i n g B i l l drown. The o n l y m o r a l l y a c c e p t a b l e r e c o u r s e f o r Bob i s t o rescue 71 B i l l . T h e r e f o r e , the m o r a l l y p r o p e r c o u r s e i s t o t a k e measures t o ensure, as b e s t as p o s s i b l e , the i n v i t r o z y g o t e ' s c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e ( u n d e r the l i m i t a t i o n s of c u r r e n t m e d i c a l t e c h n o l o g y ) . And c o n s e q u e n t l y , t o r e f r a i n from i n t r a - u t e r i n e i m p l a n t a t i o n of i n v i t r o z y g o t e s i s t o v i o l a t e t h e i r r i g h t t o l i f e . However, i t can be c o u n t e r argued t h a t t h e r e i s a fundamental d i s a n a l o g y between the type of case r e p r e s e n t e d by the example of Bob ,and B i l l and the s i t u a t i o n of i n v i t r o z y g o t e s . How can i t be t h a t the a c t of i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z a t i o n can s i m u l t a n e o u s l y be viewed as l i f e - g i v i n g and l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g ? A p r o p e r analogue t o the a c t of i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z a t i o n would be i f Bob were t o t o s s a c o l l e c t i o n of i n o r g a n i c compounds i n t o the w ater, which somehow m i r a c u l o u s l y t r a n s f o r m e d themselves i n t o a f e t u s . Now, would Bob r e a l l y be o b l i g a t e d t o r e s c u e t h i s f e t u s ? Should he be l i a b l e f o r c u l p a b l e homicide s h o u l d he r e f r a i n ? To f u r t h e r see the f o l l y of a p p l y i n g a l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g a n a l y s i s t o i n v i t r o z y g o t e s c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g : Bob d e l i b e r a t e l y throws B i l l o f f t h e r a f t , knowing t h a t B i l l cannot swim, knowing t h a t B i l l w i l l d i e w i t h o u t Bob's h e l p , and knowing t h a t Bob h i m s e l f i s a marginal"swimmer a t b e s t . Bob r e a l i z e s b e f o r e he throws B i l l o f f the r a f t t h a t t h e r e i s a v e r y good chance t h a t he, Bob, w i l l be unable t o rescue B i l l . I t t u r n s out t h a t B i l l drowns i n s p i t e of Bob's resc u e a t t e m p t . Now, c l e a r l y , i n these c i r c u m s t a n c e s Bob 72 v i o l a t e d B i l l ' s r i g h t t o l i f e n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g Bob's rescue a t t e m p t . I t i s c u l p a b l e h o m i c i d e . Now c o n s i d e r the case of a f a i l e d i m p l a n t a t i o n of an i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e ( i e . where the zygote does not " t a k e " ) . I t i s known t h a t t h e r e i s a v e r y good chance under the c u r r e n t i m p e r f e c t t e c h n o l o g y t h a t i n v i t r o z y g o t e i m p l a n t a t i o n might not s u c c e e d , r e s u l t i n g i n death f o r such z y g o t e s . I f the a p p l i c a t i o n of the l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g a n a l y s i s i s a proper one, t h e n , f o l l o w i n g the m o d i f i e d B i l l and Bob example above, i t seems t h a t t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z a t i o n a re g u i l t y of c u l p a b l e homicide when such z y g o t e s do not " t a k e " a f t e r i m p l a n t a t i o n a t t e m p t s . S u r e l y t h i s p a t e n t l y a b s u r d r e s u l t p o i n t s t o the i n a p p l i c a b i l i t y of the l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g a n a l y s i s t o i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z a t i o n . In v i t r o f e r t i l i z a t i o n , a t l e a s t i n the s t a n d a r d c a s e , c r e a t e s a l i f e which would not o t h e r w i s e have e x i s t e d . We a r e b e i n g asked t o imagine t h a t the a c t which has c r e a t e d a b e i n g w i t h a r i g h t t o l i f e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t h r e a t e n s t o v i o l a t e t h a t r i g h t t o l i f e . To view such an a c t as l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g , c a l l i n g f o r o b l i g a t i o n s w h ich, i f not s u c c e s s f u l l y met, r e s u l t i n the l i f e - g i v e r s becoming g u i l t y of c u l p a b l e h o m i c i d e , i s s u r e l y a p e r v e r s i o n of the l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g , . 61 a n a l y s i s . We have seen t h a t i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t must be committed t o the view t h a t r e f r a i n i n g t o t a k e measures t o ensure an i n v i t r o z y g o t e ' s c o n t i n u e d 73 e x i s t e n c e i s a v i o l a t i o n of i t s r i g h t t o l i f e . However, t h e r e i s a second s t r a t e g y t h a t c o u l d be t a k e n h e r e . That i s , t o argue f o r a s e p a r a t e r i g h t — the r i g h t t o n u r t u r e and  s u c c o u r . I t might be" argued t h a t n o n i m p l a n t e d i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e s s h o u l d have the same r i g h t t o s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n as t h a t of neonates and young i n f a n t s . That i s , even i f one can not d e r i v e a r i g h t t o s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n t o save l i f e i n g e n e r a l , one may be a b l e t o do so i n s p e c i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s such as p a r e n t / c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Does not a neonate have a r i g h t t o the n u r t u r e and succour of i t s p a r e n t s , and i f so, s h o u l d not c o n s i s t e n c y r e q u i r e t h a t t h i s r i g h t extend t o n o n implanted i n v i t r o f e r t i l i z e d z y g o t e s ? My i n t u i t i o n i s t h a t a c o m p e l l i n g case c o u l d be made i n t h i s way. However, t o attempt a comprehensive i n v e s t i g a t i o n here would be too much of a d i g r e s s i o n f o r the purposes of t h i s t h e s i s . We have our hands f u l l w i t h the r i g h t t o l i f e , and perhaps we would do w e l l t o a v o i d c o m p l i c a t i n g m a t t e r s by d i s c u s s i n g the r i g h t t o n u r t u r e and s u c c o u r . In summary, a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t w i l l most l i k e l y be committed t o the f o l l o w i n g . Once an i n d i v i d u a l becomes a s e l f - g e n e r a t i n g l i v i n g b e i n g , such t h a t w i t h s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n he may come t o be a p e r s o n , such an i n d i v i d u a l i s a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n and has a r i g h t t o l i f e . However, u n l e s s a s e p a r a t e r i g h t t o s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n can somehow be s u s t a i n e d , t o r e f r a i n from p r o v i d i n g n u r t u r e and 74 succour i s not a v i o l a t i o n of i t s r i g h t s . In view of the above a n a l y s i s , the q u e s t i o n a r i s e s , i s the s u c c e s s f u l use of an I.U.D. k i l l i n g or l e t t i n g d i e ? That i s , i t c o u l d be argued t h a t the use of an I.U.D. does not i n t e r f e r e w i t h any e s t a b l i s h e d form of s u p p o r t ( p l a c e n t a l i n c e p t i o n has not y e t o c c u r r e d ) . I s t h i s a case of f a i l u r e t o p r o v i d e systems of support or w i t h d r a w i n g systems of s u p p o r t ? C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g two examples. 1) A d e s p e r a t e l y i l l d i a b e t i c , D, needs t o get t o h i s p e r s o n a l d i a l y s i s machine or he w i l l d i e . He b a r e l y g e t s t o i t i n t i m e . I come around i m m e d i a t e l y t h e r e a f t e r and d i s c o n n e c t him from i t and watch him d i e . 2 ) The same d i a b e t i c , but t h i s time I d e l i b e r a t e l y n a i l shut the door t o the room c o n t a i n i n g the machine i n consequence of which D d i e s . C l e a r l y , my a c t i o n s i n b o t h examples c o n s t i t u t e a c t i v e as opposed t o p a s s i v e i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h D's c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e . The f a c t t h a t i n 2) D had not y e t reached the l i f e - s a v i n g machine does not d e t r a c t from the c u l p a b i l i t y of my a c t i o n — I have k i l l e d him, i t i s not a case of l e t t i n g d i e . T h i s a n a l y s i s p o i n t s t o the id e a t h a t i t i s a m i s t a k e t o f o c u s on p l a c e n t a l i n c e p t i o n i n i s o l a t i o n . From the time of c o n c e p t i o n u n t i l b i r t h , n a t u r e p r o v i d e s i n t h e m a t e r n a l body a m a n i f o l d of systems of s u p p o r t . To d e l i b e r a t e l y i m p a i r the f u n c t i o n i n g of t h i s p r o c e s s such t h a t the normal 75 systems of support become u n a v a i l a b l e t o t h e p r e n a t e must be viewed as a c t i v e i n t e r f e r e n c e . T h e r e f o r e , the s u c c e s s f u l use of an I.U.D. must be viewed as a c a s e of k i l l i n g , not l e t t i n g d i e . In c o n c l u s i o n , r e t u r n i n g t o T o o l e y ' s o r i g i n a l F r a n k e n s t e i n example, t o g r i n d up a f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n f o r hamburger i s not a m o r a l l y s e r i o u s a c t . However, i f such a F r a n k e n s t e i n had been brought t o a l i v i n g but p r e c o n s c i o u s s t a t e , he would have become a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n w i t h , a c c o r d i n g t o the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t , a consequent r i g h t to l i f e . G r i n d i n g up such a F r a n k e n s t e i n would c o n s t i t u t e c u l p a b l e h o m i c i d e . L e t us now r e t u r n t o our o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n — does T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n argument e s t a b l i s h the p r i o r n e c e s s i t y of v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s ? C o n s i d e r f i r s t , a v e r s i o n of Grant Cosby's r e j o i n d e r t o T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n 62 argument. A l t h o u g h I b e l i e v e Cosby f a i l s i n h i s attempt to e s t a b l i s h p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s as a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , the f a i l u r e i s i n s t r u c t i v e . R e c a l l t h a t our f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n was put t o g e t h e r w i t h a complete s e t of b e l i e f s , d e s i r e s , and p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s . C o n s i d e r a s i t u a t i o n whereby a temporary l a b o r a t o r y m a l f u n c t i o n has l e d t o our f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n bei"ng thawed out one n i g h t . D u r i n g t h i s i n t e r v a l , he becomes c o n s c i o u s f o r a few m i n u t e s , f e e l s c h i l l y , and w i s h e s t h a t he was 76 l y i n g on the sunny beaches of H a w a i i . The l a b o r a t o r y m a l f u n c t i o n c o r r e c t s i t s e l f and he becomes f r o z e n a g a i n . C l e a r l y , he became s e l f - c o n s c i o u s , f o r i n o r d e r f o r him t o have such a d e s i r e he must have been a b l e t o imagine h i m s e l f as a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e s . Has he become a perso n w i t h a consequent r i g h t t o l i f e ? Cosby argues t h a t even i f so, i t i s not because of the p r i o r presence of a v a l u e d s t a t e of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . That "minor" moment of s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s does not make a moral d i f f e r e n c e . Can i t r e a l l y be t h a t i f our f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n had been d e s t r o y e d a f t e r h i s d e s i r e t o be on the beach i t would have been a murderous a c t , but i f d e s t r o y e d b e f o r e the onset of the d e s i r e , i t would be an a c t m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o g r i n d i n g up hamburger? Cosby c o n c l u d e s t h a t i t c o u l d not be so and t h a t the o n l y sound e x p l a n a t i o n f o r a r i g h t t o l i f e f o r our F r a n k e n s t e i n i s h i s c a p a c i t y f o r f u t u r e v a l u e d s t a t e s of consc i o u s n e s s . The t h i n g t o note about Cosby's argument i s t h a t he does not g i v e an account of why the "minor" moment of s e l f - -c o n s c i o u s n e s s does not make a moral d i f f e r e n c e . He s i m p l y a s s e r t s t h a t i t does not as i f i t i s i n t u i t i v e l y o b v i o u s . I submit t h a t t h i s i s h i g h l y q u e s t i o n a b l e . On the one hand, i t may s t r i k e us as i n c r e d i b l e t h a t something as f r i v o l o u s as a d e s i r e t o l i e on the beach c o u l d e s t a b l i s h a r i g h t t o l i f e where t h e r e was none b e f o r e . However, on the o t h e r hand, perhaps the app e a l t o such a h i g h l y c o n t r i v e d example 77 masks what s u r e l y must be s i g n i f i c a n t — the onset of s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Perhaps because our f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n d i d not a r r i v e a t h i s p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s i n the normal way, g r a d u a l l y t h r o u g h l i f e e x p e r i e n c e , i t i s t o o easy t o view h i s d e s i r e s as somehow a r t i f i c i a l and r o b o t - l i k e — thus i n c a p a b l e of amounting t o a moral d i f f e r e n c e . To argue a c r u c i a l p o i n t s o l e l y by a p p e a l t o our i n t u i t i o n s i s o f t e n u n c o n v i n c i n g and unwise. G i v e n t h a t i n t u i t i o n s do i n f a c t v a r y w i l d l y i n the a b o r t i o n c o n t r o v e r s y , I b e l i e v e , we must view Cosby's argument here a f a i l u r e . But r e c a l l , T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n argument i s i t s e l f based s o l e l y on a dubious a p p e a l t o i n t u i t i o n s . As J.T. Noonan has p o i g n a n t l y s t a t e d -- " . . . t o d e c i d e who i s human on the b a s i s of the s e n t iment of a g i v e n s o c i e t y has l e d t o consequences which r a t i o n a l men would c h a r a c t e r i z e as monstrous." What then can we c o n c l u d e about the f o r c e of T o o l e y ' s ' F r a n k e n s t e i n argument? I b e l i e v e we must view i t , i n the absence of more s u b s t a n t i a l moral argument, t o r e p r e s e n t a f a i l e d attempt t o e s t a b l i s h the n e c e s s i t y of p r i o r v a l u e d s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . 78 C. R a t i o n a l methods Some p h i l o s o p h e r s have r e s o r t e d t o forms of u t i l i t a r i a n i s m t o r e s o l v e the a b o r t i o n i s s u e . Many co n c l u d e t h a t a b o r t i o n s s h o u l d be p e r m i t t e d u n l e s s t h e r e p r e v a i l e d a 64 s e v e r e l a b o u r s h o r t a g e . The m a x i m i z i n g of average e x p e c t a b l e u t i l i t y would not be s e r v e d by a g e n e r a l p r o h i b i t i o n on a b o r t i o n . The main problem w i t h t h i s p r i n c i p l e i s t h a t i t begs the q u e s t i o n — maximize e x p e c t a b l e u t i l i t y f o r whom? I f human f e t u s e s are t o be i n c l u d e d i n the scope of those whose average u t i l i t y i s b e i n g c a l c u l a t e d , then s u r e l y the p r i n c i p l e p o i n t s t o a g e n e r a l p r o h i b i t i o n on a b o r t i o n . Those who would w i s h t o d i s p u t e t h i s p o i n t must e x p l a i n how t h e i r p o s i t i o n would d i f f e r from the p r e - C i v i l War U.S. s l a v e h o l d e r s who argued t h a t b l a c k s l a v e r y maximized average e x p e c t a b l e u t i l i t y . P u r e l y economic measures of u t i l i t y may w e l l p e r m i t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n ( a n d even g e n o c i d e ) a g a i n s t m i n o r i t y c l a s s e s , but s u r e l y no one now wants t o s e r i o u s l y d e f e n d the employment of such a narrow-minded gauge of u t i l i t y . As E a r l W i n k l e r p o i n t e d l y s t a t e s — "... i t i s not n o r m a l l y s u f f i c i e n t grounds f o r the e x c l u s i o n of a c e r t a i n c l a s s from f a v o u r e d moral s t a t u s t h a t t h e i r i n c l u s i o n does not b e n e f i t t hose who a r e c e n t r a l l y and undoubtedly i n c l u d e d . " ^ I f the scope of a u t i l i t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e i s t o i n c l u d e o n l y humans w i t h f u l l y d e v e l o p e d c a p a c i t i e s then the p r i n c i p l e w i l l p e r m i t a b o r t i o n s i n g e n e r a l . And c o n v e r s e l y , 79 i f i t s scope i s broadened t o i n c l u d e humans w i t h undeveloped c a p a c i t i e s , then the p r i n c i p l e w i l l d i s a l l o w a b o r t i o n s i n g e n e r a l . Other p r i n c i p l e s w i l l f a c e the same k i n d of problem. As Grant Cosby p o i n t s o u t — "...we cannot r e s o l v e d i f f e r e n c e s of o p i n i o n about what c l a s s of b e i n g s s h o u l d count when a p p l y i n g moral r u l e s by a p p e a l i n g t o any of those r u l e s whose a p p l i c a b i l i t y i s b e i n g q u e s t i o n e d . " ^ R.B. B r a n d t ' s way of d e a l i n g w i t h t h i s conundrum i s t o 67 employ a Rawls-type v a l i d a t i o n - p r o c e d u r e . T h i s t y p e of r a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e d u r e has been used w i t h n o t a b l e s uccess t o show why the p r i n c i p l e of m a x i m i z i n g average e x p e c t a b l e u t i l i t y s h o u l d be a c c e p t e d . B r a n d t ' s v e r s i o n i s as f o l l o w s : The e x p l i c a t i o n of "A i s prima f a c i e m o r a l l y wrong" i s r o u g h l y as f o l l o w s : A would be p r o h i b i t e d by a r u l e of the moral code which would be p r e f e r r e d , as a code t o be c u r r e n t i n t h e i r s o c i e t y , by a l l p e r s o n s who (A) e x p e c t e d t o l i v e a l i f e t i m e i n t h a t s o c i e t y , (B) were r a t i o n a l a t l e a s t i n t h e sense t h a t t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s were f u l l y g u i d e d by a l l r e l e v a n t knowledge, and (C) were i m p a r t i a l i n the sense t h a t ( a n d t h i s i s a r e s t r i c t i o n on (B)) t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e was u n i n f l u e n c e d by i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h would e n a b l e them t o choose a system which would s p e c i a l l y advantage them as gcompared w i t h any o t h e r p e r s o n or group. Brandt f a v o u r s t h i s scheme f o r t h r e e reasons: (1) I f moral terms a r e c o n s t r u e d as the e x p l i c a t i o n p r o p o s e s , then i n t e l l i g e n t p e r s o n s must r e g a r d moral 80 p r i n c i p l e s not j u s t as t r a d i t i o n a l p r e j u d i c e s or commitments but as r e s t r i c t i o n s or r e q u i r e m e n t s w i t h r e a l p o i n t i n terms of the w e l f a r e of s e n t i e n t b e i n g s . They w i l l t e n d t o r e s p e c t and s u p p o r t m o r a l i t y , t o use a term I l i k e , they w i l l be " d i s a l i e n a t e d " from m o r a l i t y . (2) I f moral p r i n c i p l e s a re c o n s t r u e d i n t h e way s u g g e s t e d , i n t e l l i g e n t p e o p l e w i l l be g e n e r a l l y d i s p o s e d t o a d j u d i c a t e c o n f l i c t s by a p p e a l t o them, and must r e c o g n i z e t h a t t hey cannot i n decency argue p u b l i c l y t h a t a c l a i m of t h e i r s d e s e r v e s p u b l i c s u p port i f i t does not comport w i t h such p r i n c i p l e s . (3) I f we i d e n t i f y r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n s i n t h e way the p r i n c i p l e i n d i c a t e s , then i t i s i n p r i n c i p l e p o s s i b l e t o f i n d o u t , by methods of o r d i n a r y r e a s o n i n g and e v i d e n c e , which a c t i o n s a r e r i g h t or wrong. Brandt b e g i n s by s u p p o s i n g t h a t h i s r a t i o n a l chooser among moral systems i s s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d ( h e l a t e r c o n s i d e r s a l t r u i s t i c ) , i n the sense t h a t , w i t h i n the r e s t r i c t i o n s of ( A ) , ( B ) , and ( C ) , he w i l l s e l e c t the moral r u l e which w i l l maximize e x p e c t a b l e average l o n g - r a n g e u t i l i t y . S i n c e no chooser w i l l be i n a p o s i t i o n t o g i v e s p e c i a l advantage t o h i m s e l f , the c h o o s e r ' s best s t r a t e g y i s t o improve the l o t of the average i n d i v i d u a l . The chooser w i l l opt f o r the g r e a t e s t average u t i l i t y and not the g r e a t e s t t o t a l u t i l i t y 70 because he i s s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d . In o r d e r t h a t our r a t i o n a l c hooser comply w i t h ( C ) , the i m p a r t i a l i t y p r o v i s i o n , we s p e c i f y t h a t our r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r i s s u f f e r i n g temporary a m n e s i a — about h i s s o c i a l and economic s t a t u s , the g e n e r a t i o n t o which he b e l o n g s , and the t a l e n t s which he p o s s e s s e s ( I would add i g n o r a n c e of one's sex; Brandt o m i t s t o do s o ) . We do so i n o r d e r t h a t our chooser may not advantage h i m s e l f and because such knowledge i s not r e l e v a n t t o a r a t i o n a l e v a l u a t i o n of the a b o r t i o n i s s u e ( h e n c e , does 81 not v i o l a t e ( B ) , the r a t i o n a l i t y p r o v i s i o n ) . Now, someone might a s k , i f our r a t i o n a l chooser i s t o be knowledgeable about f e t u s e s , then how can he be s t r i c t l y i m p a r t i a l , when he i s a b l e t o deduce t h a t he i s not h i m s e l f a f e t u s ? That i s , i t seems t h a t i n formed r a t i o n a l i t y r u l e s out i m p a r t i a l i t y and v i c e v e r s a — "I t h i n k t h e r e f o r e I am not a f e t u s . " Brandt c i r c u m v e n t s t h i s problem by supposing t h a t our chooser i s i n doubt as t o whether he i s a f e t u s o r n o t . "...our s u p p o s i t i o u s chooser must, i f he i s t o ta k e s e r i o u s l y the view t h a t he might be a f e t u s , assume t h a t h i s t h i n k i n g might be somehow connected w i t h - - produced i n or by 7 1 the b r a i n o f — some f e t u s . " That i s , he b e l i e v e s t h a t h i s thou g h t s a re somehow connected t o the b r a i n of a f e t u s , however, he b e l i e v e s t h a t h i s memories w i l l not s u r v i v e as the f e t u s grows t o m a t u r a t i o n . There w i l l be a complete break between the r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r ' s t h o u g h t s as a f e t u s , and the m e n t a t i o n of the f e t u s a t some subsequent p o i n t i n t i m e . A l t h o u g h Brandt does not make t h i s c l e a r , presumably the r a t i o n a l chooser b e l i e v e s t h a t the break o c c u r s v e r y soon i n the immediate f u t u r e , o t h e r w i s e the r a t i o n a l chooser might be m o t i v a t e d t o p r e s e r v e h i s pre-memory gap i n c a r n a t i o n by s u p p o r t i n g a p r o h i b i t i o n of a b o r t i o n . Brandt then a s k s , would the r a t i o n a l chooser among moral systems p r e f e r a system which p r o h i b i t s a b o r t i o n ? Brandt suggests t h a t our r a t i o n a l chooser would be i n d i f f e r e n t , i n d i f f e r e n t s i n c e the " I " of l a t e r l i f e has no m e n t a t i o n c o n n e c t i o n t o 82 the " I " of the r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r . The " I " of l a t e r l i f e w i l l 72 not i n t e r e s t him because he i s s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d . H i s a t t i t u d e i s : " I " w i l l no l o n g e r e x i s t anyway, so who c a r e s ? A l t h o u g h I can see what Brandt hoped t o a c c o m p l i s h by t h i s c o n t r i v a n c e , I b e l i e v e B r a n d t ' s endeavour must be viewed as a f a i l u r e . For i t i s hard t o see what a r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r , as Brandt has framed him, would be i n t e r e s t e d i n a t a l l . The e x p e c t e d absence of c o n t i n u i t y would j u s t as l i k e l y produce complete moral apathy towards e v e r y t h i n g . The problem h e r e , I b e l i e v e , r e s u l t s from B r a n d t ' s f a i l u r e t o p r o p e r l y d e s c r i b e a s i t u a t i o n i n which the r a t i o n a l c hooser b e l i e v e s t h a t he i s s u b j e c t t o a r u l e about a b o r t i o n . Brandt has u n s u c c e s s f u l l y t r i e d t o r e c o n c i l e the need f o r the s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r t o be s u b j e c t e d ( o r a t l e a s t b e l i e v e t h a t he i s ) t o a r u l e about a b o r t i o n , w i t h the f a c t t h a t f e t u s e s do not t h i n k . The s t i p u l a t i o n of s e l f - i n t e r e s t becomes the o v e r r i d i n g f a c t o r i n t he r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r ' s d e c i s i o n — not t h e i m p a r t i a l i t y and r a t i o n a l i t y Brandt a t t e m p t e d t o i n j e c t i n t o the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s . Without t o o much f u r t h e r t hought, i t can be seen t h a t the outcome of any s u c c e s s f u l attempt t o d e s c r i b e a s i t u a t i o n i n which the s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d r a t i o n a l chooser r e a l l y came t o b e l i e v e t h a t he was or might be s u b j e c t t o a r u l e on a b o r t i o n would be t o f a v o u r a g e n e r a l p r o h i b i t i o n of a b o r t i o n . I t i s h a r d t o b e l i e v e t h a t any s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d 83 p e r s o n no matter how r a t i o n a l o r i m p a r t i a l c o u l d come t o any o t h e r d e c i s i o n . I t seems t h a t Brandt f a i l e d t o see t h i s p o i n t . I t i s h a r d t o know what e x a c t l y t o make of t h i s c o n c l u s i o n . Presumably, most p e o p l e f i n d t h e i r l i v e s v a l u a b l e and p r e f e r l i f e t o d e a t h , and p r e f e r h a v i n g l i v e d t o not h a v i n g been g i v e n the o p p o r t u n i t y t o l i v e . T h e r e f o r e , I suppose, i t s h o u l d not seem s u r p r i s i n g t h a t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of s e l f - i n t e r e s t would push r a t i o n a l i t y and i m p a r t i a l i t y a s i d e i n m a t t e r s of l i f e and d e a t h , or e x i s t e n c e and t o t a l n o n - e x i s t e n c e . I w i l l have more t o say about the consequences of t h i s r e s u l t l a t e r . Brandt a l s o c o n s i d e r s the c a s e of the a l t r u i s t i c r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r ; however, Br a n d t admits he has not g i v e n 73 the case as much c o n s i d e r a t i o n as i t d e s e r v e s . Presumably, B r a n d t ' s purpose i n c o n s i d e r i n g the case of the a l t r u i s t i c r a t i o n a l chooser i s t o r i d i d e a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g of the s e l f - s e r v i n g m o t i v a t i o n s which " s p o i l " the d e c i s i o n -making p r o c e s s i n the s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d c a s e . The a l t r u i s t i c person i s d e v o t e d t o the p u r s u i t of the good f o r o t h e r s . Of c o u r s e we must ask: who a r e the o t h e r s ? Brandt proposes t h a t t h e o t h e r s a r e t h o s e who the a l t r u i s t i c r a t i o n a l person would t a k e a s y m p a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t i n . 7 4 B r a n d t ' s d i s c u s s i o n d e v o l v e s i n t o a d e t e r m i n a t i o n of what m i n i m a l l y would engage a r a t i o n a l and s e n s i t i v e p e r s o n . He c o n c l u d e s t h a t the a b i l i t y t o f e e l p a i n , r e a c t i v e 84 movement, and o t h e r a s p e c t s of r u d i m e n t a r y s e n t i e n c e would do so. B r a n d t ' s u l t i m a t e c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t s i n c e l a t e - t e r m f e t u s e s d i s p l a y t h i s r u d i m e n t a r y s e n t i e n c e i t i s wrong t o 75 a b o r t them. A b o r t i o n s p r i o r t o the onset of s e n t i e n c e presumably a r e t o be p e r m i t t e d . One immediate d i f f i c u l t y w i t h t h i s p o i n t of view i s i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g s e n t i e n t s p e c i e s o t h e r than homo s a p i e n s . A l t h o u g h I r e a l i z e t h e r e a re many p h i l o s o p h e r s ( p e r h a p s i n c l u d i n g Brandt h i m s e l f ) who a r e not u n w i l l i n g t o e n t e r t a i n moral p r o t e c t i o n s of v a r i o u s degrees a p p r o a c h i n g a r i g h t t o l i f e f o r s e n t i e n t a n i m a l s , I w i l l not pursue the s u b j e c t of p r o t e c t i o n s s h o r t of the r i g h t t o l i f e . The p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t s h o u l d not have any o b j e c t i o n s t o chimpanzees, f o r example, h a v i n g the r i g h t t o l i f e , i f chimpanzees d i s p l a y i n t h e i r n o r m a t i v e p s y c h o l o g i c a l development the r e q u i s i t e s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s which g i v e human be i n g s i n the c e n t r a l undoubted case the r i g h t t o l i f e . A l t h o u g h the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t h i n t s a t what those r e q u i s i t e v a l u e d s t a t e s a r e ( u s u a l l y r a t i o n a l i t y , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , a g e n c y ) , he does not c l a i m t o know e x a c t l y what they a r e , or a t l e a s t t o what degree such a b i l i t i e s must n o r m a l l y be a t t a i n a b l e . However, f o r the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t , and many o t h e r commentators on t h i s i s s u e , the a t t a i n m e n t of s e n t i e n c e a l o n e , w i t h o u t a conc o m i t a n t g e n e t i c c a p a c i t y f o r the k i n d 85 of h i g h e r - o r d e r s t a t e s enumerated e a r l i e r , i s not a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . H a v ing s a i d t h i s , the q u e s t i o n remains c o n c e r n i n g the f o r c e of arguments based on a d e t e r m i n a t i o n of what k i n d s of l i v i n g b e i n g s a r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would t a k e a symp a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t i n . We may w e l l be p r e p a r e d t o a c c e p t t h a t the i d e a l r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would promote the good of non-human s e n t i e n t b e i n g s by s u p p o r t i n g r e s t r i c t i o n s on t h e i r t r e a t m e n t by man(ban the l e g h o l d t r a p , humane b u t c h e r i n g , p r e v e n t i o n of c r u e l t y t o a n i m a l s l a w s , e t c . ) , but i t i s an u n l i k e l y p r o p o s i t i o n a t be s t t h a t a r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would extend s a n c t i t y t o b e i n g s s i m p l y on the b a s i s of s e n t i e n c e . What t h i s p o i n t s t o , I b e l i e v e , i s t h a t even though the Mothers' f o r which t h e r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t promotes the good may i n c l u d e or even e n t i r e l y compose the c l a s s of s e n t i e n t b e i n g s , the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t need not f e e l c o m p e l l e d t o t r e a t a l l e q u a l l y i n r e g a r d s t o t h e type of p r o t e c t i o n a f f o r d e d them. Why?— because she i s not o n l y a l t r u i s t i c , she a l s o i s r a t i o n a l . Her r a t i o n a l i t y , I b e l i e v e , would l e a d h er t o the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t the a c t u a l p r e s e n c e of personhood, or the g e n e t i c c a p a c i t y f o r i t , a r e the o n l y two p o s s i b l e bases f o r t h e b e s t o w a l of a r i g h t t o l i f e . What b e i n g s a r a t i o n a l , s e n s i t i v e , i m a g i n a t i v e , and inf o r m e d person would t a k e a s y m p a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t i n i s such an u n w i e l d y n o t i o n t h a t i t i s h a r d t o b e l i e v e t h a t any r e a l consensus c o u l d d e v e l o p i n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e i s s u e at 86 hand. C o n s i d e r Roger Wertheimer's t r a n s p a r e n t u t e r u s 76 example. Wertheimer a s k s the l i b e r a l on a b o r t i o n what h i s r e a c t i o n t o the f e t u s would be i f t h e f e t u s c o u l d be viewed throughout i t s development. F u r t h e r m o r e , what would be our r e a c t i o n i f the f e t u s c o u l d be p l u c k e d from t h e womb, observe d and f o n d l e d , and then r e p l a c e d ? Wertheimer asks us t o c o n s i d e r how much of our n a t u r a l response t o the f e t u s d e r i v e s from i t s l a c k of v i s i b i l i t y or a v a i l a b i l i t y t o be handled? C l e a r l y , as f a r as any d i s c r e p a n c y i n n a t u r a l response between the l a t e - t e r m f e t u s and the neonate i s con c e r n e d , Wertheimer has l o c a t e d a p o w e r f u l argument a g a i n s t the moral f o r c e of the l i b e r a l ' s i n t u i t i o n . Human r e a c t i o n and i n t u i t i o n i s always i n t e r e s t i n g and sometimes h e l p f u l i n the e v a l u a t i o n of mor a l dilemmas, but i t a l l t o o o f t e n masks l o n g - h e l d b i a s e s and human s h o r t c o m i n g s . What then i s t h e proper a t t i t u d e t o be t a k e n by the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t i n r e g a r d t o f i r s t and second t r i m e s t e r f e t u s e s ? B r a n d t ' s s y m p a t h e t i c - i n t e r e s t argument would d i c t a t e t h a t the l a c k of s e n t i e n c e i n such f e t u s e s would r e s u l t i n a l a c k of sympathy. P h i l i p Devine has p o i n t e d out t h a t even sympathy where t h e r e i s l a c k of s e n t i e n c e i s not so . . 77 " r a d i c a l l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e as t o be humanly u n i n t e l l i g i b l e . " Would a r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t , o p e r a t i n g i n Wertheimer's t r a n s p a r e n t u t e r u s w o r l d , t a k e a s y m p a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t i n f i r s t and/or second t r i m e s t e r f e t u s e s ? The q u e s t i o n , I b e l i e v e , i s unanswerable u n t i l such a w o r l d o b t a i n s . T h i s 8 7 r e s u l t p o i n t s t o a fundamental weakness i n the s y m p a t h e t i c -i n t e r e s t argument i n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o the a b o r t i o n i s s u e . As we have seen, B r a n d t ' s endeavour has not met w i t h much s u c c e s s . However, I b e l i e v e some m o d i f i c a t i o n of B r a n d t ' s program may y e t y i e l d p r o g r e s s . Note, i t was as a r e s u l t of c l a u s e ( C ) ( t h e i m p a r t i a l i t y p r o v i s i o n ) t h a t Brandt was f o r c e d t o r e s o r t t o the c o n t r i v a n c e of a f e t a l m i n d / b r a i n c o n n e c t i o n . That i s , Brandt was concerned t h a t the s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d r a t i o n a l c h o o ser would be a b l e t o s p e c i a l l y advantage h i m s e l f i f he knew t h a t he was not a f e t u s . However, i n the case of the a l t r u i s t i c r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r , we need not be co n c e r n e d , by d e f i n i t i o n , w i t h s t r o n g , s e l f - s e r v i n g m o t i v a t i o n s i n d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , t h u s e l i m i n a t i n g the need t o r e s o r t t o such a b i z a r r e and unworkable c o n c e p t i o n as f e t a l m i n d / b r a i n c o n n e c t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e i s no l o g i c a l l y c o m p e l l i n g reason why we must r e q u i r e the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t t o be e x c l u s i v e l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the w e l l - b e i n g of those who he t a k e s a s y m p a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t i n . That i s , t h e r e i s no i n h e r e n t c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n the i d e a l r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t making a moral judgment a g a i n s t a b o r t i o n f o r e a r l y - t e r m f e t u s e s even though he does n o t , or s h o u l d n o t , f e e l sympathy f o r such f e t u s e s . T h i s i s a p o i n t t h a t many who advance the s y m p a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t argument f a i l t o see. An i n j u s t i c e may s t i l l e x i s t i n the absence of s y m p a t h e t i c i n t e r e s t . Independent moral c o n s i d e r a t i o n s may d i c t a t e t h a t a b o r t i n g e a r l y - t e r m f e t u s e s 88 i s wrong. S u r e l y ' a l t r u i s m ' need not p r e c l u d e a r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t from coming t o such a d e c i s i o n . The whole reason f o r c o n s i d e r i n g the case of the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t was t o r i d i d e a l d e c i s i o n making of s e l f - s e r v i n g m o t i v a t i o n s , not t o t h e r e b y s e t t l e the i s s u e on the b a s i s of the n a t u r e of a l t r u i s m . To be o v e r l y f o c u s s e d on 'sympathy' h e r e , I s u b m i t , runs the danger of r e d u c i n g the a b o r t i o n i s s u e i n t o a d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the t r u e n a t u r e of a l t r u i s m , which would be j u s t t o s u b s t i t u t e one problem f o r a n o t h e r w i t h no r e a l g a i n . 89 D. A b o r t i o n and t h e Golden R u l e The r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t might c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g argument which I p a r t i a l l y d e r i v e from R.M. Hare's ' A b o r t i o n 78 and the Golden R u l e ' . We s h o u l d do t o o t h e r s what we are 79 • g l a d was done t o us. Presumably, the v a s t m a j o r i t y of p e r s o n s p r e f e r e x i s t e n c e t o t o t a l n o n - e x i s t e n c e no matter how u n f o r t u n a t e t h e i r c i r c u m s t a n c e s . Even though i t may be t r u e t h a t many p e r s o n s commit s u i c i d e , i t would be r a t h e r presumptuous f o r someone t o c l a i m t h a t such and such a f e t u s s h o u l d be a b o r t e d because i f l e f t t o d e v e l o p i n t o a person such a person would come t o b e l i e v e t h a t he would r a t h e r have been a b o r t e d . I n p o i n t of f a c t , many i f not most p e o p l e who have l i v e d i n extreme misery or human p r i v a t i o n p r e f e r l i f e t o d e a t h . The s t r e n g t h of t h i s argument l i e s i n the u n d e n i a b l e f a c t t h a t e x i s t i n g p e r s o n s , i n g e n e r a l , not o n l y a re g l a d t h a t they were not a b o r t e d , but gi v e n a c h o i c e of moral r u l e s on a b o r t i o n , a r g u a b l y must support a c o n s e r v a t i v e p o s i t i o n i n o r d e r t o be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the i d e a t h a t a b o r t i o n i s something they themselves would not wish t o have been s u b j e c t e d t o . T h i s argument l e n d s some substance t o the o f t heard a n t i - a b o r t i o n i s t s e n t i m e n t — " I ' v e n o t i c e d a l l t h o s e f o r a b o r t i o n have a l r e a d y been b o r n " . That i s , i t i s b e i n g suggested t h a t i t i s tantamount t o moral h y p o c r i s y t o sup p o r t a b o r t i o n on demand, f o r , presumably, no e x i s t i n g p e r s o n would have been p r e p a r e d t o a l l o w themselves t o be 90 a b o r t e d f o r t r i v i a l r e a s o n s . The weakness of t h i s argument l i e s i n two a r e a s . F i r s t , the Golden R u l e l e a d s t o many i n s t a n c e s of c l e a r l y u n a c c e p t a b l e b e h a v i o u r . For example, s h o u l d I l i e i n c o u r t f o r someone because someone e l s e d i d so f o r me? C l e a r l y , everyone may not be the type of person whose g r a t i f i c a t i o n s h o u l d s t a n d as a model f o r r e c i p r o c a t i o n . There a r e o t h e r problems w i t h the Golden R u l e which a r e not p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t t o the d i s c u s s i o n h e r e . The second problem a r e a i s the ambit of ' o t h e r s ' i n the R u l e . The Rule argument makes use of t h e Rule i n a way which presumes what i t i s supposed t o demonstrate. That i s , i t v e r y w e l l may be t r u e t h a t I am g l a d t h a t I was not a b o r t e d as a f e t u s , but how do I know t h a t the ' o t h e r s ' r e f e r r e d t o i n the Rule i n c l u d e s f e t u s e s ? Presumably, the ambit of ' o t h e r s ' does not i n c l u d e c a t t l e , f i s h and f l o w e r s . But the Rule i t s e l f does not t e l l us why, nor does i t h e l p us determine the u n i v e r s e of o b j e c t s t o which i t does a p p l y . One might r e p l y t h a t the ' o t h e r s ' a r e s i m p l y t h i n g s l i k e 'us'. But then we must ask does 'us' i n c l u d e f e t u s e s ? Any f u r t h e r attempt t o s p e c i f y 'us', such a s — 'any homo s a p i e n s from c o n c e p t i o n t o a d u l t h o o d ' , merely assumes t h a t which the R u l e argument i s t o demonstrate. I s h o u l d c o n s i d e r one more r e p l y i n support of the Rule argument. The f o c u s on ' o t h e r s ' and 'us' i s m i s g u i d e d i n the above o b j e c t i o n . That i s , f o r example, i f I_ c o n s i d e r 91 m y s e l f a t the f e t a l or n e o n a t a l stage t o be an e x t e n s i o n of m y s e l f , then t h i s f a c t s h o u l d s u p p l y the n e c e s s a r y guidance t o d e t e r m i n e what k i n d s of t h i n g s the ' o t h e r s ' a r e . An argument c o u l d be f o r m u l a t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g way. I t i s an u n d e n i a b l e f a c t t h a t p e o p l e i n g e n e r a l c o n s i d e r t hemselves t o be i d e n t i t y - r e l a t e d t o the neonates t h a t they once were. There i s no m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the f e t u s 8 0 and the neonate. T h e r e f o r e , because they a r e t h i n g s l i k e we once were, f e t u s e s a r e t o be i n c l u d e d i n the ' o t h e r s ' . As we s h a l l see, I b e l i e v e t h i s argument c o u l d be viewed f a v o u r a b l y by our r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t . However, the argument i s open t o the o b j e c t i o n t h a t j u s t because most p e o p l e f e e l i d e n t i t y - r e l a t e d t o the neonates they once were, why s h o u l d t h i s s e t t l e the i s s u e f o r t h o s e who do not f e e l so i d e n t i t y -r e l a t e d ? For example, i f I b e l i e v e d t h a t I_ can o n l y be i d e n t i t y - r e l a t e d t o the p e r s o n I once was, t h a t i s t h a t I_ do not e x t e n d backwards i n my development beyond the time I became a p e r s o n , t h e n , i n view of the r a t h e r e g o c e n t r i c way^ the R u l e i s p h r a s e d , why s h o u l d not a b o r t i o n be p e r m i s s i b l e i n my c ase? In such a way, the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t might be tempted t o f a v o u r a p o l i c y of i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e i n the m a t t e r of a b o r t i o n s . However, i n q u e s t i o n here i s not the k i n d of c h o i c e e n v i s i o n e d by p r o - c h o i c e a d v o c a t e s , but r a t h e r , i n p r a c t i c a l terms, a b o r t i o n committees a t t e m p t i n g t o a s c e r t a i n a c a n d i d a t e ' s c o n c e p t s of personhood and i d e n t i t y . A r a t h e r b i z a r r e r e s u l t i n d e e d . 92 S i n c e we are i n no p o s i t i o n here t o determine whether the i d e a l r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would f e e l i d e n t i t y - r e l a t e d t o h i m s e l f as a n e o n a t e ( t h e problem of s e l f - i d e n t i t y b e i n g complex and the s u b j e c t - m a t t e r of a t h e s i s i n i t s e l f ) , what, i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , f o r our p u r p o s e s , would the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t say about the Rule argument? I b e l i e v e i t would be something l i k e the f o l l o w i n g . There i s no q u e s t i o n t h a t the R u l e , as a g e n e r a l p r e s c r i p t i o n f o r b e h a v i o u r , i s too f l a w e d and i n c o m p l e t e t o be taken s e r i o u s l y . However, i n m a t t e r s of l i f e and d e a t h and b o d i l y s e c u r i t y ( p r o b a b l y the o r i g i n a l i n t e n t of i t s a p p l i c a t i o n ) i t w a r r a n t s our a t t e n t i o n . A f t e r a l l , the Rule i s p r o b a b l y a t the r o o t of mankind's t r a d i t i o n a l s a n c t i o n s a g a i n s t murder, a s s a u l t , and t h e f t . The Rule argument's fundamental t h r u s t i s t h a t the ambit of the ' o t h e r s ' i s d e t e r m i n a b l e by a d e d u c t i o n from our n o t i o n s about neonates. I f we l o o k at a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t y such as ours we n o t i c e the f o l l o w i n g t h i n g s : i ) we do i n f a c t t r e a t neonates and p e r s o n s the same, i n so f a r as the r i g h t t o l i f e i s concerned; i i ) p e r s o n s a r e i n f a c t g l a d t h a t they were g i v e n the o p p o r t u n i t y as neonates t o become p e r s o n s ; i i i ) persons would n o t , i f i t were p o s s i b l e t o " t u r n back the hands of t i m e " , s a c r i f i c e such an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t r i v i a l r e asons l e t a l o n e many s u b s t a n t i a l r e a s o n s ; and i v ) the k i l l i n g of neonates i s o f t e n viewed as the most hein o u s of c r i m e s . The above r a t h e r i n c o n t r o v e r t i b l e f a c t s , combined w i t h 93 the p o i n t about the absence of a m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the neonate and the f e t u s , must l e a d a r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t t o accept the Rule argument as a f o r c e f u l c h a l l e n g e t o the m o r a l i t y of a b o r t i o n . However, the argument t u r n s c o m p l e t e l y on how we a c t u a l l y do t r e a t neonates i n g e n e r a l . I f i n f a c t something l i k e the Tooleyean view of i n f a n t i c i d e became p r e v a l e n t i n our s o c i e t y , the Rule argument would seem t o l o s e a l l i t s f o r c e . Our r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would c o n c l u d e , I b e l i e v e , t h a t a l l t h a t any m o d i f i e d Golden R u l e argument can ever demonstrate i s t h a t f e t u s e s s h o u l d have the r i g h t t o l i f e i f 8 1 neonates do. But as an u l t i m a t e g uide f o r d e c i d i n g between p o t e n t i a l i t y and a c t u a l i t y of s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e , the R u l e argument i s u n h e l p f u l . 94 E. C l o s i n g remarks C l e a r l y , I have by no means p r e s e n t e d a l l or even s u f f i c i e n t l y many of the arguments which might be c o n s i d e r e d by our chooser among moral s y s t e m s , and c o n s e q u e n t l y my c o n c l u s i o n s a r e n e c e s s a r i l y somewhat i n d e t e r m i n a t e and p r o v i s i o n a l . I have endeavoured t o show t h a t a s t r o n g case can be made f o r the i d e a t h a t i f the r i g h t t o l i f e i s g r a n t e d t o neonates and young i n f a n t s , then out of c o n s i s t e n c y and a r e a s o n a b l e p r e s u m p t i o n t h a t p r i o r d e s i r e s are m o r a l l y i r r e l e v a n t t o fundamental r i g h t s ( u n t i l d emonstrated o t h e r w i s e ) , the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would g r a n t the r i g h t to l i f e t o p r e n a t e s . R e c a l l , we e a r l i e r o b t a i n e d the r e s u l t t h a t a s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d r a t i o n a l c hooser among moral systems, w i t h i n the r e s t r i c t i o n s of a r a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g method, would s u p p o r t the g e n e r a l p r o h i b i t i o n of a b o r t i o n s . S i n c e i t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t much of moral p h i l o s o p h y ( e s p e c i a l l y the u t i l i t a r i a n v a r i e t y ) d e r i v e s i t s i n s p i r a t i o n from the n o t i o n of e n l i g h t e n e d s e l f - i n t e r e s t , t h i s r e s u l t must be seen t o be s i g n i f i c a n t . I t i s a b a s i c and common i n t u i t i o n t h a t one must be p r e p a r e d t o be s u b j e c t t o the moral r u l e s one wishes t o p r e v a i l . The a b o r t i o n i s s u e i s unique, i n t h a t the o r d i n a r y framework of i t s debate seems t o i g n o r e or even p r e c l u d e t h i s v i t a l f e a t u r e of g e n e r a l moral d i s c o u r s e . T h i s i s why I chose t o p r e s e n t and c o n s i d e r a t such g r e a t l e n g t h B r a n d t ' s a d m i r a b l e attempt t o remedy t h i s s h o r t c o m i n g 95 of t h e o r d i n a r y d ebate. I do not c l a i m t o have shown t h a t the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t can demonstrate d e f i n i t i v e l y the s u f f i c i e n c y of p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r personhood f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . I t has not been the aim of t h i s t h e s i s t o undertake such an 8 2 a m b i t i o u s and f o r m i d a b l e t a s k . R a t h e r , the e n t e r p r i s e has been t o d i s t i l l the p o t e n t i a l i t y p o s i t i o n i n t o i t s s t r o n g e s t i n c a r n a t i o n , t o see i f i t can w i t h s t a n d a v a r i e t y of a s s a u l t s , and f i n a l l y t o see i f i t has something t o recommend i t s e l f . 96 NOTES 1 "A Defense of A b o r t i o n and I n f a n t i c i d e " , The Problem of  A b o r t i o n , ed. J o e l F e i n b e r g , Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., Belmont, 1973, pp. 51-91. 2 These are m e r e l y i n t e n d e d as s t i p u l a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n s . 3 S i n c e t h e r e w i l l be no u n d e r t a k i n g t o p r o v i d e a comprehensive account of t h e concept of personhood i n t h i s t h e s i s , i t would be presumptuous t o e x c l u d e the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t some a n i m a l s a r e p e r s o n s . That i s , i n view of the undoubted c a p a b i l i t y of some p r i m a t e s t o behave r a t i o n a l l y . 4 Of c o u r s e , one c o u l d h o l d t h a t v i a b i l i t y i s a n e c e s s a r y but not a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r the r i g h t t o l i f e . However, such a p o s i t i o n has a number of d i f f i c u l t i e s which have not been s a t i s f a c t o r i l y overcome. Say the p r o p o s a l i s t h a t v i a b i l i t y and some o t h e r p r o p e r t y , A, each c o n s t i t u t e o n l y n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n s but when combined a r e s u f f i c i e n t f o r t h e r i g h t t o l i f e . I t then must be e x p l a i n e d how the absence of v i a b i l i t y i n a b e i n g p o s s e s s i n g A i s of such moral s i g n i f i c a n c e as t o make the d i f f e r e n c e between h a v i n g a r i g h t t o l i f e or n o t . The concept of v i a b i l i t y i s i n e x t r i c a b l y c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e n o t i o n of 'capable of independent e x i s t e n c e ' . I suggest t h a t the l a t t e r concept a d m i t s o n l y d e g r e e s . That i s , f o r example, a neonate may be m o r p h o l o g i c a l l y s e p a r a t e or independent from i t s mother but i t can be j u s t as dependent on i t s mother as the f e t u s f o r i t s e x i s t e n c e . Moreover, the p r o s p e c t t h a t m e d i c a l t e c h n o l o g y may one day render a l l f e t u s e s v i a b l e c r e a t e s a f u r t h e r d i f f i c u l t y f o r t h o s e who would advance the v i a b i l i t y c r i t e r i o n i n t h a t t h e q u e s t i o n of a r i g h t t o l i f e i n the f e t a l case i s then d e t e r m i n e d by c o n s i d e r a t i o n s e x t e r n a l t o the c a n d i d a t e ( s u c h as the c u r r e n t s t a t e of i n c u b a t i o n t e c h n o l o g y ) r a t h e r than the c a n d i d a t e ' s i n h e r e n t n a t u r e or v a l u e . A somewhat c o u n t e r i n t u i t i v e r e s u l t , I b e l i e v e . 5 Of c o u r s e i f t h e m i n d / b r a i n i d e n t i t y t h e s i s i s c o r r e c t , p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s can amount t o moral d i f f e r e n c e s . That i s , whatever p r o p e r t i e s p o s s e s s e d by p e r s o n s t h a t g i v e them a r i g h t t o l i f e may w e l l be r e d u c i b l e t o complex p h y s i o c h e m i c a l b r a i n p r o c e s s e s . However, th e d i s c o u r s e of t h i s t h e s i s w i l l g e n e r a l l y f o l l o w the t r a d i t i o n a l d u a l i s m of p h y s i c a l and mental p r o p e r t i e s . 6 In "Human P o t e n t i a l i t y : I t s M o r a l R e l e v a n c e " , P e r s o n a l i s t 59, 1978, p. 267. 7 Are n a t u r a l r i g h t s g r a n t e d or s i m p l y possessed? I do not here mean t o c l a i m e i t h e r . In the c o n t e x t of the 97 a b o r t i o n i s s u e , i t seems more n a t u r a l t o t a l k of " g r a n t i n g " or " d e n y i n g " a r i g h t t o l i f e r a t h e r than " d i s c o v e r i n g " whether the f e t u s " p o s s e s s e s " a r i g h t t o l i f e . 8 I do not mean t o i m p l y t h a t a l l opponents of p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r y must n e c e s s a r i l y h o l d t h a t human bei n g s i n one g r e a t sweep come t o p o s s e s s the v a l u a b l e h i g h e r - o r d e r s t a t e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s d e f i n i n g personhood. Some p h i l o s o p h e r s (now known as " g r a d u a l i s t s " ) h o l d t h a t whatever grounds a r i g h t t o l i f e d e v e l o p s g r a d u a l l y ; i n which case t h e r e won't be any p r e c i s e p o i n t when the r i g h t t o l i f e i s s u d d e n l y g a i n e d . 9 The p o s s e s s i o n of a r i g h t t o l i f e . , i n i t s e l f , does not l o g i c a l l y guarantee the f e t u s e q u a l p r o t e c t i o n s ( o f i t s l i f e ) w i t h t h a t of a p e r s o n . I t can be argued t h a t the mother's r i g h t t o b o d i l y s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n outweighs a f e t u s ' r i g h t t o l i f e . A p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t need not t r e a t a b o r t i o n and the murder of a p e r s o n as e q u a l i n moral s e r i o u s n e s s . 10 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , pp. 51 -91 . 11 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , pp. 78 -79. 12 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , P. 81 . 13 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , P- 82. 14 That i s , I am assuming the c l a i m t h a t persons have r i g h t s i s much l e s s p r o b l e m a t i c ( o r a t l e a s t l e s s c o n t r o v e r s i a l ) than t h a t non-persons have r i g h t s and t h a t , i n g e n e r a l , w i t h r e s p e c t t o non-persons, i t i s e a s i e r t o d efend the p o s i t i o n t h a t i t i s wrong t o k i l l them than t h a t a r i g h t t o l i f e has t h e r e b y been v i o l a t e d . 15 I am u s i n g ' c o n t r a c e p t i o n ' i n the narrow sense of methods which p r e v e n t s the f o r m a t i o n of a z y g o t e ( c o n c e p t i o n ) . Of c o u r s e a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t , i n any c a s e , must view use of t h e I.U.D.(which p r e v e n t s i m p l a n t a t i o n of the z y g o t e onto the i n t r a - u t e r i n e w a l l ) and o t h e r p o s t - c o n c e p t i o n methods as m o r a l l y e q u i v a l e n t t o a b o r t i o n . How t h i s r e s u l t i s o b t a i n e d w i l l be e x p l a i n e d l a t e r i n Chapter Two i n the s e c t i o n e n t i t l e d " P o t e n t i a l i t y i n F o c u s " . 16 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , pp. 82-83. 17 We s h a l l c o n s i d e r two v iews about what T o o l e y may have i n t e n d e d systems t o be composed o f . One, the m i c r o - v i e w , sees systems as c o n s t i t u t e d of c o l l e c t i o n s of spermatozoa and ova. The o t h e r , the macro-view, sees systems as 98 composed of f e r t i l e s e x u a l p a r t n e r s . T o o l e y ' s r e f e r e n c e t o "systems of organisms" s u g g e s t s t h a t T o o l e y had i n mind the macro-view, s i n c e gametes, i n a s t r i c t b i o l o g i c a l sense, a r e not organisms. However, the m i c r o - v i e w i s a l e g i t i m a t e and i n t e r e s t i n g p r o p o s i t i o n and we s h a l l c o n s i d e r i t a t some l e n g t h l a t e r on. 18 But of c o u r s e the l o t t e r y example i s not s t r i c t l y a nalogous t o the i s s u e of c o n c e r n h e r e . F o r , we do not even t r e a t neonates as persons even though " t h e i r number has been p i c k e d " . But we would tend t o t r e a t a l o t t e r y t i c k e t which had j u s t been p i c k e d l i k e a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . 19 Bruce Aune, " P o s s i b i l i t y " , The E n c y c l o p e d i a of  P h i l o s o p h y , 1967, v o l . 6, p. 423. 20 H. A p o s t l e , A r i s t o t l e ' s M e t a p h y s i c s , ( t r a n s . ) , B l o o m i n g t o n , I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966, p. 153; f o o t n o t e s 1, 5-10 a r e those of A p o s t l e (p. 357). 21 I b i d . , p. 147; f o o t n o t e s 11 and 12 a r e A p o s t l e ' s ( p . 3 5 4 ) . 22 That i s , on the macro-view of systems, we s h a l l soon c o n s i d e r systems on the m i c r o - v i e w . 23 Note, the term " e n t i t i e s " i s here used i n s t e a d of "organism" because gametes a r e n o t , s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , organisms. 24 I am here a l l u d i n g t o the p r o c e s s of spermatogenesis and the f a c t t h a t spermatozoa have a r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t l i f e span a f t e r e j a c u l a t i o n . 25 The g e n e r a l term f o r o o g e n e s i s i n f e m a l e s ( t h e p r o d u c t i o n of ova i n the o v a r i e s ) and spermatogenesis i n m a l e s ( t h e p r o d u c t i o n of spermatozoa i n the t e s t e s ) . 26 J.T. Noonan, "An Almost A b s o l u t e V a l u e i n H i s t o r y " , The  Problem of A b o r t i o n , ed. J o e l F e i n b e r g , Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., Belmont, 1973, p. 14. 27 In p a r t i c u l a r , t h i s i s J.T. Noonan's view; i b i d . , pp. 14-15. 28 Loc. c i t . 29 For a more comprehensive account of the causes of spontaneous a b o r t i o n see P o t t s , Malcolm, A b o r t i o n , Cambridge, Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1977, pp. 45-64. 99 30 For example, t a k e the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of h a v i n g b l u e e y e s . The ovum does not on i t s own i n i t i a t i v e seek out sperm w i t h the gene complement n e c e s s a r y t o produce a b l u e -eyed p e r s o n . However, once c o n c e p t i o n has o c c u r r e d , i t can be w i t h i n the z y g o t e ' s n a t u r e and d e s i g n t o produce a b l u e -eyed p e r s o n . 31 M.P.P. says "... i t i s s e r i o u s l y wrong t o k i l l any orga n i s m . . . " . 32 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , p. 84. 33 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , p. 85. 34 In the same way a p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t would d i s a l l o w s t e p 2 of T o o l e y ' s k i t t e n argument(where T o o l e y c l a i m s t h a t , by the M.S.P., i n j e c t i n g a k i t t e n , which had j u s t p r e v i o u s l y been i n j e c t e d w i t h the " s p e c i a l " c h e m i c a l , w i t h a " n e u t r a l i z i n g " c h e m i c a l i s not more s e r i o u s l y wrong than i n t e n t i o n a l l y r e f r a i n i n g from i n j e c t i n g a second k i t t e n w i t h t h e s p e c i a l c h e m i c a l ) . That i s , because the A-type a c t i o n ( i n j e c t i n g the k i t t e n w i t h the s p e c i a l c h e m i c a l ) of the p r o c e s s i s m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n i t s e l f ( b e c a u s e such a k i t t e n has become a p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n ) . 35 In f a c t T o o l e y would have g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y d e f e n d i n g h i m s e l f i n t h i s m a t t e r s i n c e he has e l s e w h e r e ( T o o l e y , op.  c i t . , p. 63) committed h i m s e l f t o the view t h a t where p o t e n t i a l f o r s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s e x i s t s i n the comatose, such i n d i v i d u a l s can s t i l l have the r i g h t t o l i f e . The i m p l i c a t i o n i s c l e a r , the p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s must be m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t t o the r i g h t t o l i f e , f o r , a c c o r d i n g t o T o o l e y , i f a p a r t i c u l a r comatose i n d i v i d u a l d i d not have the p o t e n t i a l f o r s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s ( i e . i r r e v e r s i b l e coma) then t h i s f a c t would f o r e c l o s e on h i s r i g h t t o l i f e . T h e r e f o r e , once we have t h a t the p o t e n t i a l f o r s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t t o the r i g h t t o l i f e , i t i s a s i m p l e m a t t e r t o i n f e r from t h i s t h a t t h e c r e a t i o n of the human z y g o t e i s a m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t outcome of the c a u s a l p r o c e s s of r e p r o d u c t i o n , t h a t i s , s i n c e t h e newly-formed human z y g o t e marks the b e g i n n i n g of the p o t e n t i a l f o r s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s . 36 In "Tooley's M o r a l Symmetry P r i n c i p l e " , P h i l o s o p h y and  P u b l i c A f f a i r s 5, 1976, p. 309. 37 I t i s my i n t u i t i o n , as w e l l as Trammell's, t h a t any s u c c e s s f u l endeavour t o f o r m u l a t e a moral symmetry p r i n c i p l e w i t h r e s p e c t t o a c t i o n and i n a c t i o n would i n v o l v e so many r e s t r i c t i o n s and q u a l i f i c a t i o n s as t o render i t p r a c t i c a l l y u s e l e s s . For a more tho r o u g h d i s c u s s i o n of the d e f e c t s of 100 T o o l e y ' s M.S.P. I r e f e r the r e a d e r t o Trammell's a r t i c l e c i t e d above. 38 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , p. 73. 39 U s u a l l y proponents of the Tooleyean concept of r i g h t s q u a l i f y t h e i r views w i t h r e s p e c t t o the r i g h t t o l i f e and young c h i l d r e n . They argue t h a t p r o t e c t e d s t a t u s can and s h o u l d be g i v e n young c h i l d r e n i n accordance w i t h o t h e r moral p r i n c i p l e s . The u t i l i t a r i a n r e s p e c t f o r p ersons argument i s one example. However, Tooley h i m s e l f does not o s t e n s i b l y argue i n t h i s way. 40 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , p. 73. 41 Have we not a l l heard of the l a b o r a t o r y r a t s w i t h e l e c t r o d e s a t t a c h e d t o t h e i r b r a i n p l e a s u r e c e n t e r s who c o n t i n u e t o choose p l e a s u r e over fo o d and e v e n t u a l l y s t a r v e t o death? 42 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , p. 62. 43 Loc. c i t . op. c i t . op. c i t . op. c i t . 48 When we c o n s i d e r T o o l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n argument. 49 To be s u r e , some would argue t h a t e q u a t i n g the k i l l i n g of e a r l y term f e t u s e s by a b o r t i o n or the use of an I.U.D. w i t h murder i s a b s u r d . I b e l i e v e the c o r r e c t response t o t h i s i s f i r s t , i t i s not an o b v i o u s a b s u r d i t y and, s e c o n d l y , i t i s not n e c e s s a r y f o r the p o t e n t i a l i t y t h e o r i s t t o v i e w , i n a l l c a s e s , as murder, the k i l l i n g of b e i n g s w i t h a r i g h t t o l i f e . Some p h i l o s o p h e r s would argue t h a t the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of •murder' t o d e l i b e r a t e a c t s of k i l l i n g i s a p p r o p r i a t e o n l y when the k i l l e r ' s r i g h t s i n the c i r c u m s t a n c e s do not outweigh the o t h e r p a r t y ' s r i g h t t o l i f e ( c o n s i d e r the case of s e l f - d e f e n s e ) . T h e r e f o r e , i t i s open t o argue t h a t even though the f e t u s may have a r i g h t t o l i f e , the mother's r i g h t t o b o d i l y s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n outweighs t h i s r i g h t . Where a b o r t i o n i s c o n cerned, t h i s argument becomes l e s s p e r s u a s i v e the c l o s e r the f e t u s comes t o f u l l - t e r m . However, a f u l l d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s m a tter i s o u t s i d e the ambit of t h i s t h e s i s ^ . We are here o n l y 101 c o n c e r n e d w i t h the r i g h t t o l i f e i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e and not the c o m p e t i t i o n of r i g h t s and t h e i r consequent moral dilemmas. 50 i n J o e l F e i n b e r g , " A b o r t i o n " , M a t t e r s of L i f e and  Death, ed. Tom Regan, New York, Random House, 1980, p. 194. 51 L o c . c i t . 52 E a r l W i n k l e r has made s i m i l a r p o i n t s i n h i s " A b o r t i o n and V i c t i m i z a b i l i t y " , J o u r n a l of A p p l i e d P h i l o s o p h y 1, 1984, p. 305. 53 See s e c t i o n 9 and 12 of the Canadian C h a r t e r of R i g h t s . 54 Grant Cosby and Ruth Cigman f o r example. 55 I here mean t o e x c l u d e f u t u r e p o s s e s s i o n of v a l u e d s t a t e s as i n the case of a p e r s o n who i s about t o d i e . 56 I here mean t o e x c l u d e p r i o r p o s s e s s i o n of v a l u e d s t a t e s , as i n the onset of personhood or s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n a c h i l d . 57 I n f a c t T o oley uses h i s F r a n k e n s t e i n argument t o j u s t i f y t he requ i r e m e n t of p r i o r v a l u e d s t a t e s i n h i s c o n d i t i o n s ( 2 ) , (3) and ( 4 ) . See T o o l e y , op. c i t . , p. 63 and p. 67. 58 T o o l e y , op. c i t . , pp. 63-64. 59 That i s , s i n c e the f r o z e n F r a n k e n s t e i n i s not a l i v e , t h e r e i s no q u e s t i o n of a duty t o ensure c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e , as w e l l as no q u e s t i o n of a duty t o r e f r a i n from t e r m i n a t i n g l i f e . Hence, the a c t i v e / p a s s i v e d i s t i n c t i o n does not a p p l y h e r e . 60 F u r t h e r m o r e , l i n k i n g ' p o t e n t i a l i t y ' w i t h a t h i n g ' s a b i l i t y t o i n d e p e n d e n t l y s u r v i v e seems an i n a p p r o p r i a t e c o n s t r a i n t . I f one were t o g i v e broad scope t o ' s u p p o r t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n ' i t would be hard t o see how any l i v i n g t h i n g c o u l d be p o t e n t i a l l y a n y t h i n g e l s e . We want t o be a b l e t o say t h i n g s l i k e "a seed i s p o t e n t i a l l y a t r e e " . We do not want t o have t o deny t h a t a seed has the p o t e n t i a l t o become a t r e e because of i t s dependence on the ecosystem. 61 I f t h i s type of l i f e - e n d a n g e r i n g a n a l y s i s were a l l o w e d t o go t h r o u g h , then a good argument c o u l d be made t h a t whenever p a r e n t s f a i l e d t o s e c u r e the c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e of t h e i r c h i l d r e n ( i e . t hey d i e d f o r whatever r e a s o n ) , they c o u l d be h e l d l i a b l e f o r c u l p a b l e h o m i c i d e . That i s because 102 as g i v e r s of l i f e t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n they c o u l d be v iewed as b e i n g d i r e c t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r s u b j e c t i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o the " p e r i l s of a b r u t a l w o r l d " . 62 G r a n t Cosby, " A b o r t i o n : An U n r e s o l v e d M o r a l Problem", D i a l o g u e 17, 1978, p. 110. 63 Noonan, op. c i t . , p. 14. 64 See R.B. B r a n d t , "The M o r a l i t y of A b o r t i o n " , M o n i s t , 1972, p. 517. 65 W i n k l e r , op. c i t . , p. 308. 66 Cosby, op. c i t . , p. 116. Note, t h a t we l a t e r examine an i n s t a n t i a t i o n of how t h i s t y p e of i n t r i n s i c inadequacy m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n t h e s e c t i o n e n t i t l e d ' A b o r t i o n and t h e Golden R u l e ' . 67 B r a n d t , op. c i t . , p. 513. 68 L o c . c i t . 69 B r a n d t , op. c i t . , p. 514. I t s h o u l d be n o t e d t h a t i t i s B r a n d t ' s o v e r a l l s t r a t e g y t o d e f e n d s e n t i e n c e as t h e c u t -o f f p o i n t a f t e r which a b o r t i o n s a r e m o r a l l y wrong. 70 I q u e s t i o n B r a n d t ' s c l a i m t h a t the g r e a t e s t average u t i l i t y would be t h e p r e f e r r e d s t a t e of a f f a i r s . One can imagine w o r l d s i n which the average u t i l i t y i s lower t h a n i n o t h e r s but the d i s t r i b u t i o n i s f a i r e r . The r a t i o n a l c h o o s e r might w e l l p r e f e r such a w o r l d . 71 B r a n d t , op. c i t . , p. 523. 72 I am not as s u r e about t h i s as Brandt seems t o be. I f I somehow knew t h a t I was about t o become permanently amnesic, would I be t o t a l l y d i s i n t e r e s t e d a t the p r o s p e c t of b e i n g murdered i n such a s t a t e ? 73 B r a n d t , op. c i t . , p. 518. 74 I w i l l l a t e r d i s p u t e t h i s c l a i m t h a t the r a t i o n a l a l t r u i s t would n e c e s s a r i l y base h i s d e c i s i o n p r e d o m i n a n t l y on r e a c t i v e i n t u i t i o n . 75 I t s h o u l d be n o t e d t h a t Brandt does not c l a i m t h a t l a t e - t e r m f e t u s e s have the r i g h t t o l i f e , but r a t h e r t h a t i t i s m o r a l l y wrong t o a b o r t them. The d i s t i n c t i o n i s an i m p o r t a n t one f o r our p u r p o s e s . That i s , f o r example, i t may be prima f a c i e m o r a l l y wrong t o l i e ; however, u n l e s s one 103 commits p e r j u r y , s l a n d e r , or l i b e l , t h e r e i s no v i o l a t i o n of a l e g a l r i g h t . B randt l e a v e s the door open, as do many "moderates", t o p e r m i t a b o r t i o n s as a m atter of s o c i a l p o l i c y i n the case of l a t e - t e r m f e t u s e s even though such a b o r t i o n s a r e viewed as m o r a l l y wrong. 76 Roger Wertheimer, " U n d e r s t a n d i n g the A b o r t i o n Argument", The Problem of A b o r t i o n , ed. J o e l F e i n b e r g , Belmont, Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1973, p. 49. 77 P h i l l i p D e v ine, " A b o r t i o n " , Contemporary I s s u e s i n  B i o e t h i c s , ed. Tom L. Beauchamp, Belmont, Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1982, p. 263. 78 In P h i l o s o p h y and P u b l i c A f f a i r s 4, 1975, pp. 201-222. 79 Hare b e l i e v e s t h a t the " o t h e r s " t o which t h i s p r i n c i p l e a p p l i e s i n c l u d e s not o n l y p o t e n t i a l p e r s o n s ( f e t u s e s and n e o n a t e s ) , but a l s o p o s s i b l e p e r s o n s ( s p e r m a t o z o a , ova, f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s ) . He t h u s , q u i t e n a t u r a l l y , a r r i v e s a t v e r y d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u s i o n s from mine. I am not p r e p a r e d t o g i v e an account of Hare's f o r m u l a t i o n s and w i l l r e f e r the r e a d e r t o what was s a i d about p o s s i b l e p e r s o n s i n my f i r s t c h a p t e r . 80 See T o o l e y ' s p o i n t about m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e s a t op. c i t . , pp. 52 and 74. 81 A r e s u l t w h ich, I b e l i e v e , can be e a s i l y a r r i v e d a t by o t h e r arguments. 82 Any s u c c e s s f u l such an u n d e r t a k i n g would p r o b a b l y r e q u i r e e x t e n s i v e d i s c u s s i o n of c l a s s i c and contemporary r i g h t s t h e o r y . I have p u r p o s e l y s t e e r e d away from r i g h t s t h e o r y as I b e l i e v e t h a t any s u b s t a n t i a l b e n e f i t t o my t h e s i s t h e r e b y d e r i v e d would n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e t o o g r e a t an e x p a n s i o n of t h e scope and l e n g t h of t h e t h e s i s . 1 04 BIBLIOGRAPHY A p o s t l e , H., A r i s t o t l e ' s M e t a p h y s i c s , ( t r a n s . ) , B l o o m i n g t o n , I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966. Aune, B r u c e , " P o s s i b i l i t y " , The E n c y c l o p e d i a of P h i l o s o p h y , 1967, v o l . 6, pp. 419-424. B r a n d t , R.B., "The M o r a l i t y of A b o r t i o n " , M o n i s t , 1972, pp. 503-526. Cosby, G r a n t , " A b o r t i o n : an U n r e s o l v e d M o r a l Problem", D i a l o g u e 17, 1978, pp. 106-121. De v i n e , P h i l l i p , " A b o r t i o n " , Contemporary I s s u e s i n B i o e t h i c s , e d . Tom L. Beauchamp, Belmont, Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1982, pp. 261-268. F e i n b e r g , J o e l , " A b o r t i o n " , M a t t e r s of L i f e and Death, ed. Tom Regan, New York, Random House, 1980, pp. 183-217. Hare, R.M., " A b o r t i o n and the Golden R u l e " , P h i l o s o p h y and  P u b l i c A f f a i r s 4, 1975, pp. 201-222. Noonan, J.T., "An Almost A b s o l u t e V a l u e i n H i s t o r y " , The  Problem of A b o r t i o n , ed. J o e l F e i n b e r g , Belmont, Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1973, pp. 10-17. P o t t s , Malcolm, A b o r t i o n , Cambridge, Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1977. Thomas, L a r r y L., "Human P o t e n t i a l i t y : I t s M o r a l R e l e v a n c e " , P e r s o n a l i s t 59, 1978, pp. 266-272. T o o l e y , M i c h a e l , "A Defence of A b o r t i o n and I n f a n t i c i d e " , The Problem of A b o r t i o n , ed. J o e l F e i n b e r g , Belmont, Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1973, pp. 51-91. Trammell, R i c h a r d L o u i s , " T o o l e y ' s M o r a l Symmetry P r i n c i p l e " , P h i l o s o p h y and P u b l i c A f f a i r s 5, 1976, pp. 305-313. Wertheimer, Roger, " U n d e r s t a n d i n g the A b o r t i o n Argument", The Problem of A b o r t i o n , ed. J o e l F e i n b e r g , Belmont, Wadsworth P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1973, pp. 33-51. W i n k l e r , E a r l , " A b o r t i o n and V i c t i m i z a b i l i t y " , J o u r n a l of  A p p l i e d P h i l o s o p h y 1, 1984, pp. 305-318. 

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