Bun or bump?
Does the mother contain the foetus or is it a part of her? On the metaphysics of pregnancy, and its ethical implications
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An alternative view to the parthood model is the container model, which seems to be the extreme opposite of it, since it claims that the foetus is not a part of the maternal organism, but rather is contained inside the maternal organism. So, according to this container model, the maternal organism is literally a container for the foetus, where the relationship between the maternal organism and the foetus is like that of a niche to a tenant. A niche is something that encloses something else, such that the smaller thing is inside the larger thing, where the smaller thing is classed as the tenant. Think of this model as being like a tenant in a rented house, such that the house is the niche for its occupant. The foetus, as a tenant, inhabits the maternal organism, as a niche. This is a view held by the philosophers Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard in their paper ‘Sixteen Days’ (2003) in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. They provide the analogy of the foetus being inside some space in the maternal organism in much the same way as a tub of yogurt is inside a fridge or, as phrased earlier, the way a bun is inside an oven.
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An interesting and thoughtful approach to the conundrum of abortion.
I’m a fat old white guy injineer and not a philosopher or doctor of medicine. BUT, one thing I’m sure of is that Gooferment involvement has just made the problem worse. If not, insolvable.
Dona Nobis Pacem
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