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Keywords:

  • abortion;
  • autonomy;
  • Beth Singer;
  • John Dewey;
  • reflective morality;
  • generic rights

Abstract: In this article I argue against the rights-based framework defining the abortion debate, and do so by considering the views of Beth Singer, a philosopher whose work conveys a broadly pragmatist formulation of traditional rights-based language. Although Singer's schema presents a fruitful vantage point from which to consider the abortion question through the discourse of rights, even Singer's use of the language of rights ultimately fails adequately to address the subject. I challenge Singer's view by taking up John Dewey's concept of reflective morality, elucidated in his 1932 Ethics.