Wrongs, preferences, and the selection of children: a critique of Rebecca Bennett's argument against the principle of procreative beneficence.

Abstract:

:Rebecca Bennett, in a recent paper dismissing Julian Savulescu's principle of procreative beneficence, advances both a negative and a positive thesis. The negative thesis holds that the principle's theoretical foundation - the notion of impersonal harm or non-person-affecting wrong - is indefensible. Therefore, there can be no obligations of the sort that the principle asserts. The positive thesis, on the other hand, attempts to plug an explanatory gap that arises once the principle has been rejected. That is, it holds that the intuitions of those who adhere to the principle are not genuine moral intuitions, but instead simply give voice to mere (non-moral) preferences. This paper, while agreeing that Savulescu's principle does not express a genuine moral obligation, takes issue with both of Bennett's theses. It is suggested that the argument for the negative thesis is either weak or question-begging, while there is insufficient reason to suppose the positive thesis true.

journal_name

Bioethics

journal_title

Bioethics

authors

Herissone-Kelly P

doi

10.1111/j.1467-8519.2010.01870.x

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2012-10-01 00:00:00

pages

447-54

issue

8

eissn

0269-9702

issn

1467-8519

journal_volume

26

pub_type

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