Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate

ISBN-10: 0262525291
ISBN-13: 9780262525299
Edition: 2013
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Description: In contemporary Western society, people are more often called upon to justify thechoice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. In this book, ChristineOverall maintains that the burden of proof should be reversed: that  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 9/20/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.63" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

In contemporary Western society, people are more often called upon to justify thechoice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. In this book, ChristineOverall maintains that the burden of proof should be reversed: that the choice to have childrencalls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to. Arguing that the choiceto have children is not just a prudential or pragmatic decision but one with ethical repercussions,Overall offers a wide-ranging exploration of how we might think systematically and deeply about thisfundamental aspect of human life. Writing from a feminist perspective, she also acknowledges theinevitably gendered nature of the decision; the choice has different meanings, implications, andrisks for women than it has for men.After considering a series of ethicalapproaches to procreation, and finding them inadequate or incomplete, Overall offers instead a novelargument. Exploring the nature of the biological parent-child relationship -- which is not onlygenetic but also psychological, physical, intellectual, and moral -- she argues that the formationof that relationship is the best possible reason for choosing to have a child.

Christine Overall is Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is author of Thinking Like a Woman: Personal Life and Political Ideas (2001), A Feminist I: Reflections from Academia (1998), and Human Reproduction: Principles, Practices, Policies (1993), among other books.

Series Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Reproductive Freedom, Autonomy, and Reproductive Rights
When Prospective Parents Disagree
Deontological Reasons for Having Children
Consequentialist Reasons for Having Children
Not "Better Never to Have Been"
An Obligation Not to Procreate?
Illness, Impairment, and the Procreation Decision
Overpopulation and Extinction
Procreation, Values, and Identity
Notes
References
Index

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