Is There a Moral Obligation to Have Children?

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ABSTRACT I argue, counter‐intuitively, that under certain conditions many people are under some moral requirement to attempt to bring children into being (in order to raise them). There is only rarely a strict obligation to have children, but more moderate, inclining moral considerations in favour of having children, have a place in our moral world. I begin by considering a large number of arguments in favour and against the possibility of an obligation to have children. Then I examine when the weight of one set of arguments is greater. And I conclude by pointing out some general lessons from the discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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