When Did I Begin?: Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy and Science
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. Following a detailed analysis of the history of the question, Reverend Ford argues that a human individual could not begin before definitive individuation occurs with the appearance of the primitive streak about two weeks after fertilization. This, he argues, is when it becomes finally known whether one or more human individuals are to form from a single egg. Thus, he questions the idea that the fertilized egg itself could be regarded as the beginning of the development of the human individual. The author also differs sharply, however, from those who would delay the beginning of the human person until the brain is formed, or until birth or the onset of conscious states.
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abortion adult already animal Aquinas Aristotle Aristotle's become biological birth blastocyst blastomeres blastulation C. R. Austin chimaeric chromosomes cleavage conception constitution days after fertilization derived determined developing human developmental differentiation distinct individual early embryo embryo proper Embryology endoderm ensoulment entity epiblast evidence existence extraembryonic extraembryonic membranes facts female fetus formation functions give origin growth haploid human embryo human individual begins human nature human person human reproduction human zygote hylomorphic Ibid identical twinning implantation individual body individual cells individual human life-principle living individual living ontological individual male Mammals material matter McLaren meaning membranes moral morula mouse embryos multicellular normal occurs offspring ontological identity oocyte organs ovum parthenogenetic personhood philosophical pneuma potency present primitive streak principle pronuclei R. V. Short rational soul refer semen sense sheep specific sperm stage of development theory tissues totipotency trophectoderm unity Vitro Fertilization Warnock womb zona pellucida zygote