7.1 It may be thought that even non-standard desire-utilitarianism should be rejected on the ground that it cannot account for the obvious prima facie wrongness of killing unwanted neonates, who do not yet have a concept of themselves as continuing entities and, hence, cannot yet desire continued life. Now, I think that in fact there is a strong prima facie case against killing unwanted neonates, but in recent years a number of philosophers, most notably, Michael Tooley,1 have defended infanticide; and we need at this point to examine the best of those defences. If they are in fact sound, then, of course, desire-utilitarianism need not account for the putative wrongness of infanticide.
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- 1.Michael Tooley, ‘A Defense of Abortion and Infanticide’, in Joel Feinberg (ed.), The Problem of Abortion, 1st edn (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1973) pp. 51–91Google Scholar