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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Can a person be harmed by the acts that brought about his or her own conception? Three different claims concerning this possibility can be distinguished: (1) that people are sometimes harmed by the fact that they are brought into existence; (2) that people are sometimes harmed by the way that they are brought into existence; and (3) that people are always harmed by being brought into existence. Well-known objections to the first two claims are analyzed and refuted, suggesting that these claims can be supported. The third claim is examined and shown to rely on unsound reasoning. These finding support the conclusion that people can be, but are not always, harmed by being conceived.

Keywords: harm, conception, existence, life worth living, parental obligations, non-identity problem, reproductive decision making

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