This blog’s Matthew Flannagan has had his paper “Boonin’s Defense of the Sentience Criterion: A Critique” accepted for the 65th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (“ETS”). The abstract for Matt’s paper is as follows:
“Defenders of the permissibility of feticide commonly argue that killing an organism is not homicide unless the organism’s brain has developed enough for it to acquire sentience: the capacity for consciousness and the ability to perceive pleasure and pain. In this paper I critique one of the more sophisticated versions of this argument, proposed by David Boonin in A Defense of Abortion. First, I sketch some prima facie problems faced by any appeal to sentience. Second, I examine Boonin’s attempt to defend an appeal to sentience against these problems by constructing a modified future like ours (FLO) account of the wrongness of killing. I argue that Boonin’s modified FLO defence of sentience fails. Both his argument for the modified FLO account and his application of this account to feticide rest on ad hoc arbitrary manoeuvres, manoeuvres which mean that the modified FLO account is a plausible criteria for the right to life only if one already grants that feticide is not homicide.”
Matt’s ETS paper will be based on his article “Boonin’s Defense of the Sentience Criterion: A Critique” which was published in Ethics and Medicine – An International Journal of Bioethics Vol 25:2 (Summer 2009) 95-106. (You can download this article here).
This year’s Annual Meeting will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA from 19-21 November 2013.
This year’s theme is “Evangelicalism, Inerrancy, and the Evangelical Theological Society: Retrospect and Prospect”. Plenary speakers for this year’s meeting are Dr Donald A Carson (Research Professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Dr John M Frame (Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary), and Ben Witherington III (Jean R Amos Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary).
Matt has also had a paper accepted for the Evangelical Philosophical Society’s Annual Meeting which is also in Baltimore around the same time – see Matt to speak at the 2013 Evangelical Philosophical Society in Baltimore on Divine Commands re Abraham and Isaac.
As with previous years we will be fundraising to raise the $2,500 NZD to get him there . Donations greatly appreciated.