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When Did I Begin?
Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy and Science

$50.00 USD

  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511873096

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About the Authors
  • When Did I Begin? investigates the theoretical, moral and biological issues surrounding the debate over the beginning of human life. With the continuing controversy over the use of in vitro fertilization techniques and experimentation with human embryos, these issues have been forced into the arena of public debate. The answer to the question, 'When did I begin?' draws on both scientific evidence, and on the philosophical concepts of the presence of the human individaul. As a leading theologian and moral philosopher, thoroughly conversant with modern embryology, Norman Ford, a Salesian priest, is well qualified to bridge the gap between the biological and philosophical point of view. Dr Ford argues that a human individual could not begin before definitive individuation occurs with the appearance of the primative streak about two weeks after fertilisation. While he does not specifically address any moral issues regarding the treatment of human embryos, the author views reading of this book as an essential prerequisite for such moral considerations. The implications of Dr Ford's answer to the question posed in the title will be crucially important for fully evaluating such problems as embryo experimentation and contraception, for a range of readers from embryologists and physicians to moral philosophers and theologians. The book has already stimulated considerable interest and debate, and is now available in paperback for the first time.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Ford's book is a work of major significance …' Kevin Kelly, The Tablet

    'When Did I Begin? is, without doubt, a most important contribution to the determination of the moment at which the human individual begins … accessible to anyone wishing to take an intelligent interest in its subject.' John Keefe, Month

    ' … scholarly, thoughtful and rewarding.' John Ellard, Modern Medicine of Australia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511873096
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Historical influence of Aristotle on the theory of human reproduction
    3. Criteria for being a human individual
    4. Fertilization and the beginning of a human individual
    5. Implantation and the beginning of the human individual
    6. The human individual begins after implantation

  • Author

    Norman Ford


    Mary Warnock

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