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Philosophia Christi

Volume 12, Issue 2, 2010

Theism and Ultimate Explanation

Kevin Corcoran
Pages 451-457

A Critical Appraisal of Francis Beckwith’s Defending Life

In his book Defending Life, Francis Beckwith claims that the question of personhood and human nature is the central question in the abortion debate. He further asserts that the unborn entity, from the moment of conception, is a full-fledged member of the human community. In this paper I try to show that the argument Beckwith offers for the moral wrongness of abortion in Defending Life is unpersuasive, his elucidation of key terms question-begging, and his claims concerning embryology and zygotic (and postzygotic) development highly controversial.

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