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Title: Procreative Responsibility and Modern Species Morality: A Foucauldian Critique of Population Ethics
Authors: Swianiewicz, Jan
Keywords: Population ethicsprocreative ethicsbiopoliticsMichel FoucaultDerek ParfitDavid Heyd
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Jan Swianiewicz, "Procreative Responsibility and Modern Species Morality: A Foucauldian Critique of Population Ethics", in "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/1", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019, pp. 359-383
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
Every ethical theory implies a set of assumptions about human nature related to historically var-iable conditions of human practice. In the following paper, I focus on a set of such explicit and implicit assumptions about human beings in a new area of ethics, which has come to be known as “population ethics”. Dating back to 1970s, this subdiscipline of ethics concerns itself with moral dilemmas involved in creating people understood as influencing their existence, number and/or identity. This concerns the problem of responsibility for future generations as well as diverse problems of governing present day human populations. Through analysis of the two main opposing standpoints in this field – those of Derek Parfit’s “impersonalism” and of David Heyd’s “person-affecting approach” – I try to show that in its present state population ethics lacks a clear concept of the moral agent, that is a concept of an individual or collective subject acting as a co-author of certain morality of creating people also accountable for its implementation. This lack can be supplemented by Foucault’s concepts of biopolitical processes of subjectivation and re-sposiblization. Seen from this perspective logical paradoxes of utilitarian population ethics reveal the underlying social contradictions of what can be called our modern “species morality”.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/26636
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/1

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