Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" After Forty Years
A Critical Appreciation

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Old Main Chapel

Judith Jarvis Thomson's article, "A Defense of Abortion," revolutionized the philosophical debate on the subject by arguing that abortion is morally permissible even if the fetus is assumed to have the same right to life as a typical adult human being.  Since its publication in 1971, it has become one of the most widely taught, widely reprinted and widely discussed papers in contemporary moral philosophy.  To mark the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, this special symposium will bring three of Thomson's most influential critics together for an evening of criticism and appreciation moderated by one of Thomson's most influential defenders.  The discussion, which is open to members of the general public, will be aimed at academics and non-academics alike, and will not assume previous familiarity with Thomson's argument.  Audience participation will be encouraged. 

Featured Speakers

Francis Beckwith (Baylor University)

John Martin Fischer (University of Caliornia, Riverside)
Don Marquis (University of Kansas)

 Moderator: David Boonin (University of Colorado)

About the speakers:

Francis Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University.  
    Professor Beckwith's publications include Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside.
    Professor Fischer's publications include "Abortion, Autonomy, and Control Over One's Body" (Social Philosophy and Policy, 2003)

Don Marquis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas.
    Professor Marquis's publications include "Why Abortion is Immoral" (Journal of Philosophy, 1989)

About the moderator:

David Boonin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado.
    Professor Boonin's publications include A Defense of Abortion (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

This event is made possible by funding from the Kayden Fund at the University of Colorado and the Society for Applied Philosophy.

If you have questions about the event, please contact