Condic M., Condic S. - Human Embryos, Human Beings

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The overall purpose of Human Embryos, Human Beings is to establish the ontological status of the human embryo, in light of the most recent biological evidence. The thesis of the book is that sound philosophical reasoning and the available scientific evidence support the claim that a human being is present from the moment of fertilization onward (the "immediate hominization" view) and does not support the contrary claim that a human being appears only after a time following fertilization (the "delayed hominization" view). Included in the scope of this argument is an examination of several long-standing philosophical arguments claiming that immediate hominization is false; a detailed examination of several arguments claiming that though immediate hominization is possible, both evidence and argument best support the delayed hominization view or some alternate view; and an examination of several cases where natural defect or scientific manipulation make determining the ontological status of the embryo more difficult. The book also includes a presentation of hylomorphism, as this is the philosophical viewpoint employed by the authors to analyze the question. Human Embryos, Human Beings is based on the premise that philosophical and scientific approaches are not in conflict, with the most comprehensive understanding of human embryos being achieved by application of a rigorous hylomorphic philosophy to the best available scientific data. Often, one finds either a thorough and well-reasoned philosophical account or a detailed scientific account. This book makes a welcome addition to the field by integrating both of these needed elements into a single text.

About the Authors:

Samuel B. Condic is visiting assistant professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX. Maureen L. Condic is associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Utah.

Human Embryos, Human Beings, 304 pages, The Catholic University of America Press

Review

"Condic and Condic have produced the most rigorous and most thorough philosophical and scientific defense of the reality that the life of a human being begins at conception. Human Embryos, Human Beings is an essential volume for anyone doing work in bioethics."―Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

"What is a human embryo? . . . The authors, a philosopher and a biologist, . . .propose how to use ancient and perennial philosophical ideas to make sense of the latest findings in embryology. . . .they raise this entire debate to a new level of sophistication and thoughtfulness."―Richard M. Doerflinger, University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture

"Samuel and Maureen Condic, brother and sister, one a philosopher, the other a neurobiologist, have been considering together the status of the embryo for years. Their arguments against those who do not recognize the human embryo as a human being are compelling, and their exposition of their own positions is always clear and precise."―Kevin Flannery, SJ, author of Action and Conduct according to Aristotle (CUA Press)