Anscombe, Zygotes, and Coming-to-be

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Abstract

In some quarters, it is held that Anscombe proved that a zygote is not a human being on the basis of an argument involving the possibility of identical twins, but there is surprisingly little agreement on what her argument is supposed to be. I criticize several extant interpretations, both as interpretations of Anscombe and as self-standing arguments, and offer a different understanding of her conclusion on which the non-specificity of creation processes and their goals is at issue.

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