Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics

Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics

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By (author) Patrick Lee, By (author) Robert P. George

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 25mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 14 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521124190
  • ISBN 13: 9780521124195
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 492,867

Product description

Profoundly important ethical and political controversies turn on the question of whether biological life is an essential aspect of a human person, or only an extrinsic instrument. Lee and George argue that human beings are physical, animal organisms - albeit essentially rational and free - and examine the implications of this understanding of human beings for some of the most controversial issues in contemporary ethics and politics. The authors argue that human beings are animal organisms and that their personal identity across time consists in the persistence of the animal organisms they are; they also argue that human beings are essentially rational and free and that there is a radical difference between human beings and other animals; criticize hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; present detailed defenses of the prolife positions on abortion and euthanasia; and defend the traditional moral position on marriage and sexual acts.

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Author information

Patrick Lee is Director of the Bioethics Institute and Professor of Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is the author of Abortion and Unborn Human Life (1996), and his articles and review essays have appeared in American Journal of Jurisprudence, Bioethics, Faith and Philosophy, Philosophy, The Thomist, International Philosophical Quarterly, and other scholarly journals, as well as popular journals and online magazines. Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and the Council of Foreign Relations, as well as a former member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and essays, including In Defense of Natural Law (1999) and The Clash of Orthodoxies (2001). He has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, First Things, the Boston Review, New Criterion, and the Times Literary Supplement.

Review quote

"Robert P. George... is this country's most influential conservative Christian thinker." -David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times "This new book by Lee and George promises to be a book of singular importance and standing-a book whose arguments would have to be addressed by anyone seriously entering the discussions in this field. Lee and George address the most contentious issues in our politics-- euthanasia, abortion, hedonism, same-sex marriage, homosexuality-- yet they move with scrupulous fairness to give an accurate account of arguments 'on the other side,' and meet those arguments directly and fully." Hadley Arkes, Amherst College "Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics is a rigorous, bold defense of the biological, material unity and value of persons. Lee and George vigorously challenge competing accounts in philosophy of mind and personal identity, and then employ their unified theory of human nature to confront contemporary treatments of reproduction, sexual ethics, and other matters of practical moral concern. This book defends some controversial, 'conservative' values with systematic, clear arguments; it deserves a wide readership." Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf's College "The greatest interest lies in the detail of the argument and the way in which it illuminates the familiar while also producing unexpected insights and leading to a noble and convincing conception of human beings as at once living animals, intellectual subjects, and moral and spiritual beings...it will aid the much needed challenge to prevailing orthodoxies" -First Things

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Human beings are animals; 2. Human beings are persons; 3. Hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; 4. Abortion; 5. Euthanasia; 6. Sex and the body.