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MORAL DELIBERATION AND OPERATIVE RIGHTS: A RESPONSE TO MARY MAGADA-WARD AND CYNTHIA GAYMAN

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Abstract:

The aim of this article is to show how intimately connected Beth J. Singer's theory of operative rights is with her understanding of the deliberative process. I thus argue against Cynthia Gayman's effort to set in contrast Singer's theory of rights and Dewey's characteristic emphasis on reflective morality. Since I take the value of Singer's approach to be most evident in its relevance to the abortion debate as an ongoing deliberation, I question whether Mary Magada-Ward sufficiently appreciates the dialogical and deliberative emphases of Singer's stance. My goal, however, is not so much to argue against either Gayman or Magada-Ward as it is to argue for taking Singer's position even more seriously than either author does. In particular, I want to highlight the finely nuanced character of Singer's philosophical intervention in the debate regarding abortion, especially stressing certain features that Gayman and Magada-Ward overlook.
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Keywords: Beth Singer; John Dewey; abortion; deliberation; feminism; reflective morality; rights

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, 240 Sparks Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-5201, USA, Email: vxc5@psu.edu

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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