Reply to Marquis: how things stand with the 'future like ours' argument.

Research paper by Carson C Strong

Indexed on: 17 Apr '12Published on: 17 Apr '12Published in: Journal of medical ethics


In an earlier essay in this journal I critiqued Don Marquis's well-known argument against abortion. I distinguished two versions of Marquis's argument, which I refer to as 'the essence argument' and 'the sufficient condition argument'. I presented two counterexamples showing that the essence argument was mistaken, and I argued that the sufficient condition argument should be rejected because Marquis had not adequately responded to an important objection to it. In response to my critique, Marquis put forward in this journal a revised version of his argument. In his modified approach he no longer advocates the essence argument and he offers a new version of the sufficient condition argument. In the current essay, I discuss how Marquis's revised argument deals with my original objections, and I argue that his new sufficient condition argument is unsuccessful.