Browsing Masters Degrees (Philosophy) by browse.metadata.advisor "Cilliers, P."
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- ItemPoststructural approach to the abortion dilemma(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2000-12) Van Bogaert, Louis-Jacques; Cilliers, P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Philosophy.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Moral theories often view the problem of abortion as oppositional: either fiercely "pro-life" or adamantly "pro-choice". A closer view at their respective arguments suggests that extreme polar views are hardly tenable. The principle of the sanctity of life has its limits, and the liberal view on abortion leading to the logical conclusion that even infanticide is permissible is counterintuitive and at loggerheads with common morality. Softer views on both polar positions are more appealing and more acceptable. The soft "pro-life" stance has serious limitations for it appeals to the doctrine of double effect or to a secular but similar position, the doctrine of self-defence, which would allow abortion only in cases of rape or incest. The soft "pro-choice" position appeals to the concept of sentience: only the abortion of a presentient embryo/fetus is permissible. The difficulty, however, is that we know little about the sentience of the unborn and its occurrence during intra-uterine development. Both extreme and softer views are basically oppositional (either/or). The postmodern mind aims at deconstructing oppositions in order to highlight the ideologies underscoring the advocacy of either view. In a poststructural perspective that takes into account the complexity of life, it becomes possible to understand and to accept the view that a "pro-choice" stance is far from being "pro-death". This is the position which is argued for in the present essay.