Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Patrick Lee, David Boonin and the argument from bodily autonomy

Below is the video of a recent abortion debate between philosophers Patrick Lee and David Boonin. (Just a month ago, Boonin debated Peter Kreeft here in Minneapolis; see my reaction here.)

The debate is outstanding. Prof. Lee begins by working through a strong pro-life argument, showing that the unborn is a human organism and a person with rights. Prof. Boonin then concedes Lee's case (i.e., he agrees, though only for the sake of argument, that the unborn is a full person with a right to life), and presents the sophisticated argument from bodily autonomy to try to show that abortion is, nevertheless, morally permissible. The rest of the debate (the bulk of it) is spent going back and forth on the merits of that argument.