Schrödinger's Child: Non-Identity and Probabilities in Reproductive Decision-Making
Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Jennifer S. Hendricks, Schrödinger's Child: Non-Identity and Probabilities in Reproductive Decision-Making, 69 Stud. L. Pol. & Soc'y 221 (2016), https://doi.org/10.1108/S1059-433720160000069007.
Derek Parfit’s non-identity problem calls into question the claims of both the state and individuals when they purport to act for the benefit of future children. This paper discusses how adoption of the non-identity argument as a legal argument could affect reproductive and family policy, demonstrating that it undermines the child-centric approach to assigning legal parentage. The paper concludes, however, that these non-identity problems can be solved by the expected value approach, which demonstrates that efforts to benefit future people can be logically coherent even if those efforts also affect the genetic identities of the future people.
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