African Communitarianism and the Misanthropic Argument for Anti-Natalism

Kirk Lougheed

Springer International Publishing AG
10 August 2022

African Communitarianism and the Misanthropic Argument for Anti-Natalism

Kirk Lougheed

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Anti-natalism is the provocative view that it is either always or almost always all-things-considered wrong to procreate. Philanthropic anti-natalist arguments say that procreation is always impermissible because of the harm done to individuals who are brought into existence. Misanthropic arguments, on the other hand, hold that procreation is usually impermissible given the harm that individuals will do once brought into existence. The main purpose of this short monograph is to demonstrate that David Benatar’s misanthropic argument for anti-natalism ought to be endorsed by any version of African Communitarianism. Not only that, but there are also resources in the African philosophical tradition that offer unique support for the argument. Given the emphasis that indigenous African worldviews place on the importance of procreation and the immediate family unit this result is highly surprising. This book marks the first attempt to bring anti-natalism into conversation with contemporary African ethics.

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