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PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Great News for Southampton Philosophy of Pregnancy and Motherhood Project

Published: 29 March 2016

There’s been a wave of great news for Dr. Fiona Woollard and Dr. Elselijn Kingma, who have been hard at work collaborating on the philosophy of pregnancy and motherhood.

Fiona was just awarded a 5-month non-residential research fellowship funded by the John Templeton Foundation at the Experience Project ( to work on a project entitled "Mother Knows Best: Pregnancy, Applied Ethics and Epistemically Transformative Experiences." She will be exploring whether there is some morally relevant knowledge that is accessible only, or primarily, to people who have been pregnant, and examining the ramifications for the debate about abortion and in applied ethics more widely.

This fantastic news came shortly after Fiona held a highly successful Breastfeeding Dilemma Workshop in London (, which brought together academics, policy makers, medical professionals, parental support organizations, mothers, and members of the public to address the question of how we can encourage breastfeeding and support women in doing so without subjecting those whose choose not to do so, or are unable to do so, to shame or guilt.

Fiona and Elselijn also recently addressed the European Forum for Philosophy on the philosophy of pregnancy and birth at the London School of Economics ( And Elselijn has just returned from the Netherlands, where she addressed a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of the Dutch parliament and Dutch obstetrics gynecologists, about the imminent changes to the organisation of the Dutch Birth System (the link (in Dutch):

Major congratulations to both Fiona and Elselijn for their work in this area, which is both philosophically groundbreaking and highly influential outside academia!


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