Genes, Gestation, and Social Norms

Law and Philosophy 31 (3):243-268 (2012)
Abstract
The case law surrounding surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, genetic donation, and legal parenthood is notoriously confused. Yet the issues involved in these cases are of fundamental importance to our most basic rights. To make matters worse, ongoing developments in technology continue to push the conceptual limits of both our legal and moral schemes. In this paper I argue that the concept of ‘parenthood’ is deeply ambiguous and attempt to carefully untangle the notion into two distinct concepts – one biological and largely descriptive, and the other social and profoundly normative. I argue that the social notion of parenthood is a complex function of intentions, actions, and emotional states. It is a concept both defined and constrained by social norms. The biological notion of parenthood, for its part, cannot be understood in strictly genetic terms. I offer, instead, a more fleshed out view that treats biological parenthood as a family resemblance concept. Finally, I discuss the role of gestation in the context of a powerful feminist critique and argue that although gestation is a biological phenomenon, it is a mistake to think that its relevance is limited to biology. In fact, what is special about gestation, in the context of parenthood and obligation, is its distinctly social role. By shifting the discussion of gestation away from biology and toward the realm of the social, we can make better sense of the disputes that manifest themselves in the literature and in the law
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10982-011-9113-2
Options
 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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,215
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Multiple Biological Mothers: The Case for Gestation.Susan Feldman - 1992 - Journal of Social Philosophy 23 (1):98-104.
Abortion, Intimacy, and the Duty to Gestate.Margaret Olivia Little - 1999 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):295-312.
Intentional Parenthood and the Nuclear Family.Liezl van Zyl - 2002 - Journal of Medical Humanities 23 (2):107-118.
How Do We Acquire Parental Rights?Joseph Millum - 2010 - Social Theory and Practice 36 (1):112-132.
The Future of the Family.David Archard - 2012 - Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (2):132-142.
Norms and the Agency of Justice.Justin Weinberg - 2009 - Analyse & Kritik 31 (2):319-338.
Legal Authority as a Social Fact.M. Baurmann - 2000 - Law and Philosophy 19 (2):247-262.
Kantian Voices in the Family Values Debate.Brenda Almond - 2012 - Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (2):143-156.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-07-12

Total downloads

27 ( #188,385 of 2,164,580 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #347,948 of 2,164,580 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums