Two Varieties of “Better-For” Judgements
This paper argues against Julian Savulescu’s principle of procreative beneficence. It maintains that prospective parents have no obligation at all to choose the child, out of a range of possible children, who is likely to lead the best life. This is because a standpoint that the author labels “the internal perspective” is a perfectly appropriate one for parents to adopt when thinking about their own future children. It is only policy makers who are obliged to take up an opposing standpoint—“the external perspective”—and to be motivated by the sorts of “better for” judgements that that perspective delivers.
KeywordsPrinciple of procreative beneficence Savulescu Parenthood Prospective parents
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aristotle. 1984. Nicomachean ethics. In The complete works of Aristotle, volume two, ed. J. Barnes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Glover, J. 2006. Choosing children: The ethical dimensions of genetic intervention. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Parfit, D. 1976. Rights, interests and possible people. In Moral problems in medicine, ed. S. Gorovitz, 373–74. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Parfit, D. 1984. Reasons and persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Stern-Gillet, S. 1995. Aristotle’s philosophy of friendship. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar