Friday, July 22, 2016

On "Moral Status"

What is the moral status of animals? What’s the moral status of fetuses? What’s the moral status of the permanently comatose? While questions like these are sometimes asked (also about ‘moral standing’), I have written a few paragraphs where I argue that the term “moral status” shouldn’t be used.

A Review of "Philosophy Comes to Dinner"

Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating, Andrew Chignell, Terence Cuneo, and Matthew C. Halteman (eds.), Routledge, 2016, 299pp., $33.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780415806831.

Reviewed by Tina Rulli, University of California, Davis

This book contains my and Dan Hooley's "A Moral Argument for Veganism."

Thanks, Tina!

Monday, July 18, 2016

On the "What's Wrong?" Blog: Abortion and Animal Rights - Animal Rights and Abortion

What’s Wrong With Linking Abortion and Animal Rights?

Nathan Nobis, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College, kindly contributed the following piece to What’s Wrong?  Professor Nobis is the author of many articles and book chapters on topics concerning ethics and animals (e.g., vegetarianism, experimentation) and the ethics of abortion, an unpublished 2003 essay on the relations between these topics, and a review of a recent book on these topics’ intersections, which inspired this essay.  What’s Wrong? is grateful to Professor Nobis for permission to publish this original piece here.
Should your views on abortion influence your views on animal rights? Should your views on the moral status of animals influence your views on the moral status of human fetuses?
        Generally, no. Most arguments against abortion have no implications for animal rights and those that might seem to be poor arguments against abortion. And arguments for animal rights only have implications for rare, later abortions of conscious fetuses, not the majority of abortions that affect early, pre-conscious fetuses.
On the other sides, though, a common of objection to animal rights does support a pro-life view and an influential feminist pro-choice argument does suggest positive implications for animals, though.
Overall, the topic of abortion presents with an inherent complexity never analogously present in animal rights issues – the perspective of the pregnant woman whose life and body the fetus depends on – and so the issues are importantly distinct. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Questions, Answers and Evidence

I just saw that Moore's Principia Ethica is online. It has a great beginning, relevant to all writers and researchers, in many fields:
"It appears to me that in Ethics, as in all other philosophical studies, the difficulties and disagreements, of which its history is full, are mainly due to a very simple cause: namely to the attempt to answer questions, without first discovering precisely what question it is which you desire to answer."

Figuring out what exact question(s) about a topic one is trying to answer determines how one will answer those questions and what types of evidence is needed to answer those questions

Thanks, G.E.!

Textbook-in-Progress Presentation Handout

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Abortion and Animal Rights paper from 2000 or 2003

I recently realized that in 2000 I wrote a paper that I called "Abortion and Animal Rights: Related, but Importantly Different, Issues," that I apparently updated in 2003 (maybe I added the introductory paragraph then, since the paper works without it, and I couldn't have written that paragraph in 2000). By a fluke I found the file, which got lost and forgotten in a computer crash or change. That was a long time ago! The paper has a different tone from most things I write these days, but it appears that some of the basic points are the same. See below or the link above:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights


Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights

Sherry F. Colb and Michael C. Dorf, Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights, Columbia University Press, 2016, 252pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780231175142.

Reviewed byNathan Nobis, Morehouse College

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Powerpoint on Animal Experimentation

I was recently asked to make an audio-narrated PowerPoint that reviews this article of mine, to be used in a UCSD course on non-animal-based medical research:
Nobis, Nathan. "The harmful, nontherapeutic use of animals in research is morally wrong." The American journal of the medical sciences 342.4 (2011): 297-304.
This PowerPoint with audio narration is available in a readily accessible online format here. The file can also be downloaded here and here.

Information on this course is below the fold. I'm told it's been rescheduled for Fall 2016. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One of my favorite books for teaching ..

By Peg Tittle
Published by Pearson Higher Education
Published Date: May 5, 2004


What If. . . Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy is a brief, inexpensive collection of over 100 classic and contemporary “thought experiments”, each with an accompanying commentary, that explore philosophical arguments and often address a genuine problem in life. The value of the book is in its simplicity in both format and tone: Each thought experiment is accompanied by commentary that explains importance of the experiment, and questions to provoke thought and discussion, all encapsulated within two pages. The book is direct, clear and conversational but does not dilute difficult ideas.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Honoring and Celebrating Tom and Nancy Regan

In 2016, the board of the Culture & Animals Foundation (CAF) invited activists, thinkers, and artists who’d been influenced by the work of the animal rights philosopher Tom Regan, and his wife and partner Nancy, to reflect on their legacy and that of the Culture & Animals Foundation. This video features Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation, the late philosopher R. G. Frey, philosopher Gary Comstock, author Kim Stallwood, and philosopher Nathan Nobis.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Monday, March 07, 2016

1000 Words on Ethics and Abortion

The Ethics of Abortion

Author: Nathan Nobis
Category: Ethics
Word Count: 1000
Abortion involves the intentional killing of a fetus to end a pregnancy. These fetuses are human, biologically.1 It seems that fetuses are beings, albeit completely dependent beings: what else would they be? So, abortion involves the intentional killing of a human being. Killing human beings is often deeply wrong, so is abortion wrong? If so, when? And why? In this essay, we’ll look at some potential answers to these questions.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

800 Words on Ethics and Abortion

800 words on abortion, for The Philosophers' Magazine, Issue 72 on "50 New Thoughts in Philosophy":


Nathan Nobis is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA USA, and author of many articles on topics in bioethics, including abortion.

Abortion involves killing a fetus to end a pregnancy. These fetuses are human, biologically, and are beings. So, abortion involves the killing of a human being, which is usually wrong. So is abortion wrong?  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A New Book, Discount Code


Pages: 320 • Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-3190-0 • Hardback • March 2016 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4985-3191-7 • eBook • March 2016 • $99.99 • (£70.00) (coming soon)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Review of a book on Race and Pharmaceutical Development 

The American Journal of Bioethics

Volume 15Issue 10, 2015

Review of Jonathan Kahn, Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in the Post-Genomic Age1

Book Review

Review of Jonathan Kahn, Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in the Post-Genomic Age1

Full text HTML
Full access
Nathan Nobisa*
pages W4-W5