The potentiality of the embryo and the somatic cell
McGee, Andrew (2014) The potentiality of the embryo and the somatic cell. Metaphilosophy, 45(4-5), pp. 689-706.
Recent arguments on the ethics of stem cell research have taken a novel approach to the question of the moral status of the embryo. One influential argument focuses on a property that the embryo is said to posses—namely, the property of being an entity with a rational nature or, less controversially, an entity that has the potential to acquire a rational nature—and claims that this property is also possessed by a somatic cell. Since nobody seriously thinks that we have a duty to preserve the countless such cells we wash off our body every day in the shower, the argument is intended as a reductio ad absurdum of the claim that the embryo should be afforded the same moral status as a fully developed human being. This article argues that this argument is not successful and that it consequently plays into the hands of those who oppose embryonic stem cell research. It is therefore better to abandon this argument and focus instead on the different argument that potentiality, as such, is not a sufficient ground for the creation of moral obligations towards the embryo.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Additional Information:||Article first published online: 8 OCT 2014|
|Keywords:||embryo, extrinsic potentiality, inner power, intrinsic potentiality, moral status of embryo, potential, potential person, rationality, rational nature, somatic cell, somatic cell nuclear transfer, stem cell, stem cell research|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Bioethics (human and animal) (220101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Medical Ethics (220106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2014 Metaphilosophy LLC and John Wiley & Sons Ltd|
|Deposited On:||04 Dec 2014 22:59|
|Last Modified:||03 Oct 2016 05:16|
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