Individual procreative responsibility and the non-identity problem

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):336-363 (2009)
The question I address in this paper is whether and under what conditions it is morally right to bring a person into existence. I defend the commonsensical thesis that, other things being equal, it is morally wrong to create a person who will be below some threshold of quality of life, even if the life of this potential person, once created, will nevertheless be worth living. However commonsensical this view might seem, it has shown to be problematic because of the so-called 'Non-Identity Problem'. Both utilitarian and rights-based approaches have been unable to provide a solution to this problem. I rest my thesis on two premises: that causing a disability or impairment in a future person is prima facie wrong, so long as we can avoid causing such a disability to that very person; and that reproduction, under normal conditions, is prima facie morally indifferent. From these two premises, I conclude that it is prima facie wrong to bring into existence a person with a non-trivial disability or impairment (which might be, nonetheless, compatible with a worthwhile life), even if the only available alternative is to remain childless.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2009.01344.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

35 ( #135,867 of 1,902,528 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #268,990 of 1,902,528 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.