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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 1, Issue 1, Fall 1986

Christine Gudorf
Pages 64-83

How Will I Recognize My Conscience When I Find It?

In this article, the activity of conscience around abortion serves as an example to illustrate the thesis that adequate moral decisions require knowing our feelings. Coming to know how and why we feel as we do is a complicated process involving psychoanalytic exploration of the unconscious. In abortion it involves coming face to face with our feelings about our mothers, about motherhood, and about our own infancy and childhood. Failure to come to grips with such feelings allows our unconscious to disguise our feelings to ourselves, and thus to manipulate our moral decisions.

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