Procreation and Parenthood: The Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children

David Archard*, David Benatar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

20 Citations (Scopus)


The book offers new and original chapters on the ethics of procreation and parenthood. The introduction provides an overview of the current debates in this area. In his chapter, Tim Bayne evaluates current thinking about the ethics of bringing people into existence. David Benatar argues that the right of reproductive freedom, although important, must be limited. Michael Parker responds to the argument for 'procreative beneficence'-the view that procreators are duty-bound to produce children with the best possible quality of life. He argues that we need only aim at producing children that have 'a reasonable chance of a good life'. Colin Macleod considers the extent to which the existence of parental prerogatives conflicts with the demands of justice. David Archard argues that the causal theory of parenthood is consistent with the view that those who did not cause the child to exist may still take on the responsibilities of acting as parents. Elizabeth Brake defends a version of the intentional account of parental duties, arguing that these duties can only arise from voluntary acceptance of the socially constituted parental role.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages208
ISBN (Electronic)9780191595547
ISBN (Print)9780199590704
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Causal theory
  • Future possible people
  • Intentional theory
  • Justice
  • Parental duties
  • Parenthood
  • Procreation
  • Procreative beneficence
  • Reproductive freedom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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