The Monist 89 (4):505-525 (2006)

Authors
Anthony Wrigley
Keele University
Abstract
Parfit’s (1984) Non-Identity Problem provides a strong line of argument that we cannot be harmed by pre-conception choices or actions. I argue that we can no longer appeal to the Non-Identity problem in order to justify using pre-conception genetic screening and selection techniques as a harmless tool to determine the genetic constitution of future individuals. My criticism of the Non-Identity problem is based on a rejection of the metaphysical foundations of Parfit’s argument - Kripke’s (1980) essentialist arguments for the necessity of origin. I offer an alternative account of modal harms based on counterpart theory such as that offered by David Lewis (1986). On this account, individuals can make legitimate harm claims in regard to pre-conception choices made in determining their genetic constitution by appeal to their counterparts across possible worlds.
Keywords Non-Identity Problem  Genetic Selection  Counterparts
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ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist20068945
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Harm to Future Persons: Non-Identity Problems and Counterpart Solutions.Anthony Wrigley - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):175-190.
Possible Persons and the Problem of Prenatal Harm.Nicola Jane Williams - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):355-385.
Toward an Ethical Eugenics.Jacob M. Appel - 2012 - Jona’s Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 14 (1):7-13.

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