Volume 111, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



In the field of procreation ethics both Kantian and consequentialist arguments have been developed purporting to show the moral impermissibility of having (more than two) children. A survey of the most important arguments leaves us wondering whether one could derive general obligations or prohibitions from abstract principles and apply them to deeply personal decisions about whether or not to have children (and how many). At the same time it is undeniably true that having children, however private the decision to procreate may feel, has an impact far beyond the private sphere. While we argue that the answer to the question whether or not to have a child cannot be derived from moral principles, we recognize that moral considerations about global and intergenerational justice do pertain to the question. We therefore develop an alternative framework for traditional Kantian and consequentialist approaches in procreation ethics, which we call holistic virtue ethics.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ground projects; holistic virtue ethics; procreation ethics
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