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Why Have Children?
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Why Have Children?
The Ethical Debate
Series: Basic Bioethics
Creators: Christine Overall
Publisher: The MIT Press
Pub. date: 02/03/2012
Lib. SRP: 28.95 USD
Ret. SRP: 18.99 USD
Format: Kindle Book
ASIN: B00653KSXA
DRM Level: Amazon Kindle
Min. Version: Amazon Kindle
File size: 0 KB
Languages:
   English
Subjects:
   Philosophy, Sociology, Women's Studies, Nonfiction
Keywords:
   Ethics & MoralPHILOSOPHY
  null
Short Description:
   

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...

Full Description:
   

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.

Reviews:
  Publisher's Weekly
     

March 19, 2012
"To choose to have a child is to set out to create a relationship... that gives a particular meaning to one's own life and to the life of the ." Philosophy professor Overall (Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry) argues that "the burden of justification... should rest primarily on those who choose to have children, choice calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to have children." Overall thoroughly covers the ethical questions that are connected to procreation with an academic detachment that is occasionally punctuated by commentary regarding her personal life. She addresses the rights to reproduce or not reproduce, and provides methods by which prospective parents in disagreement regarding the termination or continuation of a pregnancy might reach a consensus. She also discusses the contrasting consequentialist incentives (e.g., "savior siblings" or projected economic benefit once the child matures) and deontological arguments (e.g., the passing on of name and DNA via lineage) for childbearing, while additionally exploring the philosophical, ethical, and environmental reasons to not have children. In her conclusion, she offers her general advice to prospective parents ("Don't miss it!") and a brief review of the psychological, emotional, physical, and moral rewards of parenting. Cogently argued and exhaustively researched, Overall's newest will be of particular interest to thoughtful adults engaged in this debate, as well as students and professionals in philosophy and sociology.

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