Rivka WeinbergThe Risk of a Lifetime: How, When, and Why Procreation May be Permissible

Oxford University Press, 2016

by Robert Talisse on February 1, 2016

Rivka Weinberg

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We don't commonly think of procreation as a moral issue. But why not? When you think about it, creating another person seems like a morally weighty thing to do. And we tend to think that procreation under certain conditions would be irresponsible, selfish, or reckless. Might there also be cases where procreation is morally impermissible?

In The Risk of a Lifetime: How, When, and Why Procreation May be Permissible (Oxford University Press, 2016), Rivka Weinberg explores a broad range of questions concerning the morality of procreation. She argues that procreation is a form of risk imposition, and so is morally permissible only under certain circumstances. In taking this view, she places herself in opposition to two more popular stances, one holding that procreation is almost never impermissible, and the holding that procreation is never permissible. Employing a Rawlsian constructivist model, Weinberg proposes two principles that establish conditions for permissible procreation.

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