“The Fetal Position
is a wonderfully clear and undogmatic examination of the main arguments surrounding the morality of abortion. Chris Meyers explains the issues in clear prose, free of philosophical jargon, and applies the philosopher’s main tool—reason—to lay bare the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. The book is neither pro-choice nor pro-life, but rather pro-reason. The author facilitates discussion but leaves the reader to make up his or her own mind. I highly recommend it to anyone seriously interested in thinking through the morality of this emotionally charged issue in a clear-headed and rational manner.”
—Alastair Norcross, professor of philosophy, the University of Colorado at Boulder
“The problem of abortion is probably the most difficult issue for modern societies. It was exacerbated by cultural changes, to some degree by advances in modern medicine, prosperity, lifestyle, and many more factors. Nevertheless it remains, as it always was, a serious moral question. The Fetal Position
by Chris Meyers, intentionally written as a popular book, needs to be read by the pro-life and pro-choice supporters in order to enlighten both groups and to introduce some civility into the current debate. The author analyzes, from the strict philosophical perspective of a moral philosopher, all possible arguments concerning the question of the ‘morality of abortion,’ that is, whether abortion can be accepted from the position of moral philosophy. He is not concerned in this book about the legality of abortion or related issues. Thus this book is probably the first step to finding a constructive solution. The next step would be to write a book on how society should approach the problem of eliminating the situations that seem to necessitate abortion and thus create an environment for respecting life, the rights of the fetus, and the rights of the woman as well. That part is probably still more difficult since it is much easier to either introduce prohibitions or to be passive and leave things as they are.”
—Marian Hillar, MD, PhD, professor of philosophy/religious studies and director
of the Center for Philosophy and Socinian Studies; author of the book The Case of
Michael Servetus (1511-1553)—The Turning Point in the Struggle for Freedom
of Conscience, and translator of the major Servetus works from Latin into English
Is it wrong for a woman to have an abortion or for society at large to allow abortions? Conversely, does a woman have a moral right to terminate her pregnancy? Fundamental moral questions such as these are at the heart of the abortion debate.
In this unique approach to one of the most contentious and emotionally charged issues of our day, philosopher Chris Meyers argues that philosophy provides the ideal neutral forum for considering the soundness of both sides of the abortion debate. Unlike most books on abortion, The Fetal Position takes neither a pro-life nor a pro-choice stance. Rather, using philosophical methodology, Meyers carefully scrutinizes the commonly voiced arguments for and against abortion with the aim of assessing them from a position that is as unbiased as possible. The author argues that since philosophy involves questioning our most basic assumptions and does not assume any one particular worldview, it is best equipped to provide objective clarity to the debate.
The book considers all the hot-button issues, including:
What is life? Theories of the soul vs. the naturalistic, biological concept of life
The implications of the fact that life begins at conception
Responsibility and how each side of the debate defines the term differently
The status of the fetus as a potential person
The application of the Golden Rule to the debate
The question of the woman’s bodily integrity vs. the fetus’s right to life
Assessing the consequences of abortion (with reference to utilitarianism)
How our attitudes on abortion reflect our character (with reference to virtue ethics)
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, and especially if you are undecided, this thoughtful, clearly presented treatment of an important, controversial topic will prove enlightening.
Binding: Paperback216 pages
Shipping Weight: 1lbs
Chris Meyers (Hattiesburg, MS) holds a doctorate in philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago, and is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has published articles in ethical theory and applied ethics in Philosophical Studies, Journal of Social Philosophy, and Social Theory & Practice, among other journals.