Identity Argument

The identity argument states that a living creature is at all points in its development identical to the living creature that it was at an earlier point in time. In other words, over time a human being, for example, remains the same as what he or she was as an embryo. According to this argument, the dignity of a person cannot be added at a later point in time but must be recognised from the beginning of the individual's existence.

Different Positions can be found in:

Geach, Peter (1962): Reference and Generality, Cornell.

Wiggins, David (1967): Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity, Oxford.

Lee, Patrick (2004): The Pro-Life Argument from Substantial Identity: A Defence. In: Bioethics 18(3), 249-263. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2004.00393.x Online Version

Singer, Peter (1980): Practical Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Brock, D. W. (2006): Is a consensus possible on stem cell research? Moral and political obstacles. In: Journal of Medical Ethics 32(1), 36-42. doi: 10.1136/jme.2005.013581 Online Version

Strong, Carson (2006): Preembryo Personhood: An Assessment of the President’s Council Arguments. In: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27(5), 433-453. doi: 10.1007/s11017-006-9016-7 Online Version

Mauron, Alexandre / Baertschi, Bernard (2004): The European Embryonic Stem-Cell Debate and the Difficulties of Embryological Kantianism. In: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine 29(5), 563-581. doi: 10.1080/03605310490514234 Online Version

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