Why Have Children? by Christine Overall
The Ethical Debate (Basic Bioethics)

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Christine Overall

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Christine Overall is Professor of Philosophy and University Research Chair in the Department of Philosophy at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. She is the author of Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry and other books.
 
Published February 3, 2012 by The MIT Press. 270 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Law & Philosophy, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Why Have Children?

Publishers Weekly

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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, a...

Mar 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Why Have Children?: The Ethic...

Slate

By not having babies and lots of them, ASAP, you are lowering the overall happiness of the world, bringing down the potential.

Mar 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Why Have Children?: The Ethic...

London School of Economics

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.

Aug 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Why Have Children?: The Ethic...

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