عنوان مقاله [English]
Abortion is a controversial issue—various arguments have been presented for or against its moral permissibility. An argument against its moral permissibility is the species essence argument. According to Francis Beckwith, this argument is superior to other arguments since it regards the human species as being essentially valuable. In his view, the human life is valuable in virtue of its species and essence, even if it has no function or motion. Thus, since a fetus belongs to the human species, it is essentially valuable, even if it has no functions or activities. In light of this argument, he sees the human fetus as having the right to live and moral status since the moment of conception, concluding that it is wrong to abort unless the mother’s life is in danger. In this paper, we deploy the descriptive-analytic and critical method, formulating Beckwith’s argument, which is founded on a materialistic view of humans. We then explicate and criticize examples deployed by Beckwith to reinforce his argument. We finally present another version of the species essence argument based on soul-body dualism.