On the Value of Intimacy in Procreation
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She’ll get paid…we don’t need to see her. As long as
she’s healthy and delivers my babies healthily,
she’s done a job for us.1
When two adults meet, fall in love, and commit themselves to a romantic relationship, a time will come when they must decide whether or not to have children. It is no exaggeration to say that this particular decision is one of the most important decisions most of us will ever make. As a result, some engage in careful deliberation. Others have a more spontaneous approach to the question. The reality is that the decision to procreate and raise children is widely regarded as deeply personal in liberal-democratic societies, concerning the couple only–although there can certainly be external pressures from family, friend and society at large. At any rate, the relevant sociological fact here is that citizens in liberal democratic societies see parental autonomy as involving not only a right to have a great degree of control over a child’s life, but also...
KeywordsMoral Responsibility Intimate Relationship Parental Responsibility Social Parent Basic Interest
For very helpful comments and suggestions, I would like to thank Stephanie Collins, Ryan Cox, Alberto Giubilini, Pablo de Lora, Liam Shields, Rosa Terlazzo and George Tsai. Special thanks to the Philosophy Program at the Australian National University for hosting me during the 2013 visiting season, and for providing me with a great environment for writing this piece.