Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 5, 2007 - Political Science
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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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About the author (2007)

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 US 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.

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