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Res Philosophica

Volume 92, Issue 2, April 2015

Transformative Experiences

L. A. Paul
Pages 149-170
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.2015.92.2.1

What You Can’t Expect When You’re Expecting

It seems natural to choose whether to have a child by reflecting on what it would be like to actually have a child. I argue that this natural approach fails. If you choose to become a parent, and your choice is based on projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. If you choose to remain childless, and your choice is based upon projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. This suggests we should reject our ordinary conception of how to make this life-changing decision, and raises general questions about how to rationally approach important life choices.