Mosquera, Julia | 2022
In this paper I analyse how procreative freedom poses a challenge for rule-consequentialism. First, I reconstruct the rule-consequentialist case for procreative freedom. Second, I argue that population scenarios resulting from very low fertility pose a problem for rule-consequentialism since such scenarios cannot secure population growth or even avoid human extinction in the long run. Third, I argue that population scenarios resulting from excessive procreation also pose a problem for rule-consequentialism since they are incompatible with the promotion of optimific consequences in various ways. Were the rule-consequentialist to avoid these types of scenarios, the challenge would consist in doing so while retaining the liberal approach to individual rights and freedoms that made rule-consequentialism an advantageous competitor against moral theories like act-consequentialism. These population scenarios raise more general questions about how rule-consequentialism ought to conceptualise the application of universal rules in the long-term, intergenerational context. This is an important place for inquiry given that rule-consequentialism is originally conceived as a forward-looking theory.