A portable defense of the Procreation Asymmetry

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):178-199 (2017)
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The Procreation Asymmetry holds that we have strong moral reasons not to create miserable people for their own sakes, but no moral reasons to create happy people for their own sakes. To defend this conjunction against an argument that it leads to inconsistency, I show how recognizing ‘creation’ as a temporally extended process allows us to revise the conjuncts in a way that preserves their intuitive force. This defense of the Procreation Asymmetry is preferable to others because it does not require us to take on controversial metaphysical or metaethical commitments – in other words, it has the theoretical virtue of portability.

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Author's Profile

Jake Earl
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Persons, Character, and Morality.Bernard Williams - 1976 - In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980. Cambridge University Press.

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