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Cabrera's book at Cambridge Scholars is out


Julio Cabrera's new book on negative ethics is out. He's my metaphilosophical guru and has been in an intense dialogue with me in the last two years or so about procreation, negation and interruption. The result of these conversations will come out in a book soon, called "A moral do começo" (The morality of beginning). There we end up formulating two versions of anti-natalism and of negative ethics.

For the moment, his book on his own brand of anti-natalism can be read:

Discomfort and Moral Impediment -
The human Situation, radical Bioethics and Procreation
by Julio Cabrera
has been published by the Cambridge Scholar Publishing.

The book is about how humans in the world can cope with two traditional moral demands: that of not manipulating and that of not damaging the others. The human situation is described as structurally marked by a double discomfort: sensible and moral. The book is about the rapports between this structural discomfort and the traditional requirements of morality.

The primary motivation of this book is to connect suffering and morality. Suffering is understood not only in sensible terms, but especially in moral terms, as the difficulties to be a moral person in a world with features persistently adverse to human efforts. How much requirements can ethics reasonably demand from a sensibly and morally suffering being placed in an adverse situation? It is the very compatibility of life and morality what is at stake.

The main themes are the rigorous description of the minimal ethical demands, the presentation of the phenomenon of “moral impediment”, the structural difficulty to be morally correct with everybody in all circumstances; the creation of positive values as a reaction to the basic situation of sensible and moral discomfort; the negative redefinition of traditional categories of “freedom” and “evil”; a long and detailed argumentation about the morally problematic nature of procreation and related issues (education, sexuality and abortion).

Book summary:

Part I: Ethics and human situation.

I. The minimal ethical articulation.
II. Human life and discomfort (The non-structural arguments)
III. The structural argument.
IV. Positive values are reactive against the terminal structure of being.
V. The idea of Moral Impediment and its hardships.
VI. “Evil” as affirmative category.
VII. The radical asymmetry of birth and its impact on “freedom”
VIII. Ethics for a minimal life.


Part II: Procreation.

I. The primary ethical question: the moral justification for procreation
II. The PROC Thesis.
III. Development of the PROC thesis.
IV. Some few words on “accidental births”
V. Phenomenology of the child.
VI. Educating and punishing.
VII. Procreation meets more ethical problems than heterodox sexuality
VIII. Abstention is not the same than abortion.
IX. From Procreation to suicide

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