We Can Make Rational Decisions to Have a Child: On the Grounds for Rejecting L.A. Paul’s Arguments

In Richard Vernon Sarah Hannan & Samantha Brennan (eds.), Permissible Progeny. Oxford University Press (2015)

Authors
Meena Krishnamurthy
Queen's University
Abstract
L.A. Paul has recently argued that, on the standard model of rationality, individuals cannot make rational decisions about whether to have a child or not. In this paper, I show that Paul’s arguments do not plausibly demonstrate that the standard model of rationality precludes rational decisions to have a child. I argue that there are phenomenal and non-phenomenal values that can be used to determine the value that having a child will have for us and, in turn, that can be used to make rational decisions about whether to have a child or not. I also argue that we can have an approximate idea of what it is like for us to have a child, even before we have a child and that, on the standard model, this is sufficient to make rational decisions to have a child.
Keywords rationality  phenomenal knowledge  children
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