Quality of Life Assessments, Cognitive Reliability, and Procreative Responsibility

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):436-466 (2014)
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Abstract

Recent work in the psychology of happiness has led some to conclude that we are unreliable assessors of our lives and that skepticism about whether we are happy is a genuine possibility worth taking very seriously. I argue that such claims, if true, have worrisome implications for procreation. In particular, they show that skepticism about whether many if not most people are well positioned to create persons is a genuine possibility worth taking very seriously. This skeptical worry should not be confused with a related but much stronger version of the argument, which says that all human lives are very bad and not worth starting. I criticize the latter stance, but take seriously the former stance and hope it can be answered in future work.

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Jason Marsh
St. Olaf College

Citations of this work

Pessimism and procreation.Daniel Pallies - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (3):751-771.
Which Problem of Adaptation?Willem van der Deijl - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (4):474-492.
Children’s rights and the non-identity problem.Erik Magnusson - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (5):580-605.
Benatar on the Badness of All Human Lives.Iddo Landau - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):333-345.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.

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