Friday, August 07, 2015

Bioethics Paper on Procreative Beneficence

My latest publication appears in the September issue of Bioethics.

The article is a response to Rebecca Bennett's criticisms of Julian Savulescu's Principle of Procreative Beneficence (PPB). Briefly, she argues that the Non-Identity Problem (NIP) shows that there cannot be a duty of Procreative Beneficence, since no one is harmed by non-compliance with this alleged duty. I reply, firstly, that she misinterprets the NIP as an argument, rather than a trilemma. One way out of this problem is to accept the notion of harmless wrongs (a possibility that she neglects, assimilating it to impersonal harm).

Second, I argue that, even if she is right that PB is not a moral duty, this doesn't show that it is a 'mere preference'. Some preferences, such as those over works of art, exhibit a similar objective or categorical status as moral judgements purport to.