Why Have Children?

Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate - Basic Bioethics

Paperback (01 Nov 2013)

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Publisher's Synopsis

A wide-ranging exploration of whether or not choosing to procreate can be morally justified-and if so, how.

In contemporary Western society, people are more often called upon to justify the choice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. In this book, Christine Overall maintains that the burden of proof should be reversed: that the choice to have children calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to. Arguing that the choice to 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 this fundamental aspect of human life. Writing from a feminist perspective, she also acknowledges the inevitably gendered nature of the decision; the choice has different meanings, implications, and risks for women than it has for men.

After considering a series of ethical approaches to procreation, and finding them inadequate or incomplete, Overall offers instead a novel argument. Exploring the nature of the biological parent-child relationship-which is not only genetic but also psychological, physical, intellectual, and moral-she argues that the formation of that relationship is the best possible reason for choosing to have a child.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262525299
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 176
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 348g
Height: 218mm
Width: 149mm
Spine width: 17mm