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Debating Procreation – Is It Wrong to Reproduce? - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce?

David Benatar and David Wasserman


In this book, two sides of the debate on the ethics of procreation are presented. One argues for the anti-natalist view that procreation is never morally permissible. In support of that conclusion he advances a number of arguments. These include: an argument based on an axiological asymmetry between harm and benefit; an argument based on the poor quality of all human life and the risk of serious harm; and a misanthropic argument based on the harm that humans do. The second half of the book identifies a variety of moderate pro-natalist positions, which all see procreation as sometimes permissib ... More

Keywords: procreation, anti-natalism, pro-natalism, quality of life, misanthropy, role morality, axiological asymmetry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199333547
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333547.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Benatar, author
Professor and Head of Department, Department of Philosophy, University of Capetown

David Wasserman, author
Director of Research, Center for Ethics, Yeshiva University