Right to Liberty

Question 1

Question 1: Rights vs Gradualism

Blackburn draws a distinction between what he calls “Gradualism” and more traditional ‘Rights’ based views of abortion. It’s important to keep in mind that typical pro-choice and pro-life views are BOTH ‘Rights’ based views (The Right to Life is emphasized in the Pro-Life perspective and the Right to Liberty and personal Freedom is emphasized in the Pro-Choice view). So, keeping this in mind, what distinction is Blackburn trying to draw between Rights based views and Gradualism? In answering, be sure to consider both what actions the different views might permit or oppose AND the reasoning by which these different theories would reach their conclusions (after all, they might sometimes reach the same conclusion but for substantively different reasons).

Question 2: Amartya Sen

Blackburn presents Sen’s data on “Missing Women,” but what exactly does she mean? The context of most of this section is actually abortion, but is Sen claiming that there have been that many abortions in the world motivated by decisions about the fetus’ gender? Or does the issue of the “Missing Women” extend beyond abortion? If the latter, what other factors do you think are reflected in Sen’s findings? Also note, more recent research has demonstrated that to some extent Sen’s numbers are flawed: for example, in China the “One Child” policy actually lead to the birth of many women who legally don’t exist, but who do in fact exist. Given that, should we adjust our conclusions regarding Sen’s research? And if so, how?

Question 2

After completing the first two weeks of assigned reading, please present your personal definition of ethics in a formal 600 – 800 word response. Your paper must include reference to at least two of our readings, with citations in MLA or APA format. *The citations and Works Cited list do not count as part of your length requirement.

Consider including mention of how ethics have evolved and developed over time and some of the leading theorist of ethics.

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