What Is the Question to which Anti-Natalism Is the Answer?

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Abstract
The ethics of biological procreation has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Yet, as I show in this paper, much of what has come to be called procreative ethics is conducted in a strangely abstract, impersonal mode, one which stands little chance of speaking to the practical perspectives of any prospective parent. In short, the field appears to be flirting with a strange sort of practical irrelevance, wherein its verdicts are answers to questions that no-one is asking. I go on to articulate a theory of what I call existential grounding, a notion which explains the role that prospective children play in the lives of many would-be parents. Procreative ethicists who want their work to have real practical relevance must, I claim, start to engage with this markedly first-personal kind of practical consideration.
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SMYWIT-2
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Archival date: 2020-02-24
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2020-02-24

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