Gift and Beneficence

  • Simon ReaderEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Ethics and Public Policy book series (PASEPP)


Resistance to procreative liberty is often framed in language about life’s giftedness, and the impropriety of choosing gifts in the persons of one’s children. This chapter examines Michael Sandel’s treatment of this argument and further flawed attempts to distinguish the gift from the merely given. Against the idea of children as gifts, anti-natalism contends that life is never so good as to justify being given, and Procreative Beneficence that we ought to choose the best possible lives. This chapter argues that both positions retain an ethic of giftedness, but instead figures parents as giving rather than receiving gifts in their children, where in the case of Procreative Beneficence the capacity to give life well follows from the purposive selections enabled by assisted reproductive technologies.


Gift Procreative beneficence Children Chance Anti-natalism Reproduction 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keele UniversityNewcastle-under-LymeUK

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