Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce? (Debating Ethics)

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9780199333554: Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce? (Debating Ethics)

While procreation is ubiquitous, attention to the ethical issues involved in creating children is relatively rare. In Debating Procreation, David Benatar and David Wasserman take opposing views on this important question. David Benatar argues for the anti-natalist view that it is always wrong to bring new people into existence. He argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm and that even if it were not always so, the risk of serious harm is sufficiently great to make procreation wrong. In addition to these "philanthropic" arguments, he advances the "misanthropic" one that because humans are so defective and cause vast amounts of harm, it is wrong to create more of them.

David Wasserman defends procreation against the anti-natalist challenge. He outlines a variety of moderate pro-natalist positions, which all see procreation as often permissible but never required. After criticizing the main anti-natalist arguments, he reviews those pronatalist positions. He argues that constraints on procreation are best understood in terms of the role morality of prospective parents, considers different views of that role morality, and argues for one that imposes only limited constraints based on the well-being of the future child. He then argues that the expected good of a future child and of the parent-child relationship can provide a strong justification for procreation in the face of expected adversities without giving individuals any moral reason to procreate

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About the Author :


David Benatar is Professor and Head of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford), and The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys (Wiley-Blackwell).

David Wasserman works at the Center for Bioethics at Yeshiva University and is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Bioethics of the National Institutes of Health. He has written extensively on ethical issues in reproduction, disability, genetics, biotechnology, and neuroscience.

Review :


"A terrific and very accessible exchange between two highly accomplished philosophers that will not only provide readers with an excellent sense of the broader debate on procreative ethics but also introduce them to two original and contrasting contributions to that debate."
--David Archard, Queen's University, Belfast


"Most people seem to believe that there are no purely moral reasons to have a child and, at least in most cases, no moral reasons not to have a child. This complacency about the morality of procreation is formidably challenged in this provocative book. While Benatar advances probing arguments for the unusual view that all procreation is impermissible, Wasserman's carefully reasoned case for the permissibility of procreation is qualified in ways that many readers will find surprising. Both authors are highly distinguished philosophers whom it is exciting to follow as they develop and defend their clashing positions on the range of important issues they address."
--Jeff McMahan, University of Oxford


"Both incredibly well-written and full of new insight, is the best that has yet been done on the difficult topic of procreative ethics. Two philosophers have been brilliantly paired here and the result is something I am very eager to make use of in my next ethics seminar. Benatar has never done a better job arguing for his own off-the-beaten-path position that procreation is as a general matter morally wrong. And, while the position Wasserman presents may itself seem perfectly intuitive or even commonsensical, it is a position that many contemporary moral philosophers have found deeply problematic. Thus both philosophers, from their different perspectives, challenge mainstream procreative ethics. In doing so, they have together written a book that should be carefully studied by all parties to the debate - and that will no doubt be greatly enjoyed by anyone fortunate enough to discover it whether moral philosopher or not." --Melinda Roberts, The College of New Jersey


"In this concise volume, Benatar and Wasserman advance the procreative ethics debate clearly, provocatively, and innovatively. Each develops his side of the debate with originality, cogency, and wit, and engages with the latest arguments in the field. The problem is that they are both persuasive."
--Rivka Weinberg, Scripps College


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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. While procreation is ubiquitous, attention to the ethical issues involved in creating children is relatively rare. In Debating Procreation, David Benatar and David Wasserman take opposing views on this important question. David Benatar argues for the anti-natalist view that it is always wrong to bring new people into existence. He argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm and that even if it were not always so, the risk of serious harm is sufficiently great to make procreation wrong. In addition to these philanthropic arguments, he advances the misanthropic one that because humans are so defective and cause vast amounts of harm, it is wrong to create more of them. David Wasserman defends procreation against the anti-natalist challenge. He outlines a variety of moderate pro-natalist positions, which all see procreation as often permissible but never required. After criticizing the main anti-natalist arguments, he reviews those pronatalist positions. He argues that constraints on procreation are best understood in terms of the role morality of prospective parents, considers different views of that role morality, and argues for one that imposes only limited constraints based on the well-being of the future child. He then argues that the expected good of a future child and of the parent-child relationship can provide a strong justification for procreation in the face of expected adversities without giving individuals any moral reason to procreate. N° de réf. du libraire AAU9780199333554

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. While procreation is ubiquitous, attention to the ethical issues involved in creating children is relatively rare. In Debating Procreation, David Benatar and David Wasserman take opposing views on this important question. David Benatar argues for the anti-natalist view that it is always wrong to bring new people into existence. He argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm and that even if it were not always so, the risk of serious harm is sufficiently great to make procreation wrong. In addition to these philanthropic arguments, he advances the misanthropic one that because humans are so defective and cause vast amounts of harm, it is wrong to create more of them. David Wasserman defends procreation against the anti-natalist challenge. He outlines a variety of moderate pro-natalist positions, which all see procreation as often permissible but never required. After criticizing the main anti-natalist arguments, he reviews those pronatalist positions. He argues that constraints on procreation are best understood in terms of the role morality of prospective parents, considers different views of that role morality, and argues for one that imposes only limited constraints based on the well-being of the future child. He then argues that the expected good of a future child and of the parent-child relationship can provide a strong justification for procreation in the face of expected adversities without giving individuals any moral reason to procreate. N° de réf. du libraire AAU9780199333554

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