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  1. Axiological Absolutism and Risk.Seth Lazar & Chad Lee-Stronach - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):97-113.
    Consider the following claim: given the choice between saving a life and preventing any number of people from temporarily experiencing a mild headache, you should always save the life. Many moral theorists accept this claim. In doing so, they commit themselves to some form of ‘moral absolutism’: the view that there are some moral considerations that cannot be outweighed by any number of lesser moral considerations. In contexts of certainty, it is clear what moral absolutism requires of you. However, what (...)
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  • In Defense of the Internal Aspects View: Person-Affecting Reasons, Spectrum Arguments and Inconsistent Intuitions.Oscar Horta - 2014 - Law, Ethics and Philosophy 2:91-111.
    According to the Internal Aspects View, the value of different outcomesdepends solely on the internal features possessed by each outcome and theinternal relations between them. This paper defends the Internal AspectsView against Larry Temkin’s defence of the Essentially Comparative View,according to which the value of different outcomes depends on what isthe alternative outcome they are compared with. The paper discusses bothperson-affecting arguments and Spectrum Arguments. The paper doesnot defend a person-affecting view over an impersonal one, but it arguesthat although there (...)
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  • The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We argue that all gradable expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns of (...)
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  • Many-Valued Logic and Sequence Arguments in Value Theory.Simon Knutsson - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):10793-10825.
    Some find it plausible that a sufficiently long duration of torture is worse than any duration of mild headaches. Similarly, it has been claimed that a million humans living great lives is better than any number of worm-like creatures feeling a few seconds of pleasure each. Some have related bad things to good things along the same lines. For example, one may hold that a future in which a sufficient number of beings experience a lifetime of torture is bad, regardless (...)
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  • Some Possibilities in Population Axiology.Teruji Thomas - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):807-832.
    It is notoriously difficult to find an intuitively satisfactory rule for evaluating populations based on the welfare of the people in them. Standard examples, like total utilitarianism, either entail the Repugnant Conclusion or in some other way contradict common intuitions about the relative value of populations. Several philosophers have presented formal arguments that seem to show that this happens of necessity: our core intuitions stand in contradiction. This paper assesses the state of play, focusing on the most powerful of these (...)
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  • Spectrum Arguments and Hypersensitivity.Theron Pummer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1729-1744.
    Larry Temkin famously argues that what he calls spectrum arguments yield strong reason to reject Transitivity, according to which the ‘all-things-considered better than’ relation is transitive. Spectrum arguments do reveal that the conjunctions of independently plausible claims are inconsistent with Transitivity. But I argue that there is very strong independent reason to reject such conjunctions of claims, and thus that the fact that they are inconsistent with Transitivity does not yield strong reason to reject Transitivity.
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  • Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity.Alex Voorhoeve - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):409-425.
    In 'Rethinking the Good', Larry Temkin makes two core claims. First, the goodness of a distribution is sometimes ‘essentially comparative’ – it sometimes depends on which alternative distribution(s) it is compared to. Second, such cases threaten the transitivity of ‘all things considered better than’. I argue that the goodness of a distribution may indeed depend on what other distributions are feasible. But contrary to Temkin, I also argue that transitivity holds even when the goodness of a distribution depends on the (...)
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  • Parity, Intransitivity, and a Context-Sensitive Degree Analysis of Gradability.Yitzhak Benbaji - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):313-335.
    Larry Temkin challenged what seems to be an analytic truth about comparatives: if A is Φ-er than B and B is Φ-er than C, then, A is Φ-er than C. Ruth Chang denies a related claim: if A is Φ-er than B and C is not Φ-er than B, but is Φ to a certain degree, then A is Φ-er than C. In this paper I advance a context-sensitive semantics of gradability according to which the data uncovered by Temkin and (...)
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  • Better Never to Have Been Believed: Benatar on the Harm of Existence: Campbell Brown.Campbell Brown - 2011 - Economics and Philosophy 27 (1):45-52.
    In Better Never to Have Been, David Benatar argues that existence is always a harm. His argument, in brief, is that this follows from a theory of personal good which we ought to accept because it best explains several???asymmetries???. I shall argue here that Benatar's theory suffers from a defect which was already widely known to afflict similar theories, and that the main asymmetry he discusses is better explained in a way which allows that existence is often not a harm.
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  • Original Position Models, Trade-Offs and Continuity.Steven Daskal - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):254-287.
    John Harsanyi has offered an argument grounded in Bayesian decision theory that purports to show that John Rawls's original position analysis leads directly to utilitarian conclusions. After explaining why a prominent Rawlsian line of response to Harsanyi's argument fails, I argue that a seemingly innocuous Bayesian rationality assumption, the continuity axiom, is at the heart of a fundamental disagreement between Harsanyi and Rawls. The most natural way for a Rawlsian to respond to Harsanyi's line of analysis, I argue, is to (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Other-Directed Time-Bias.Caspar Hare - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):269 – 277.
    Should we be time-biased on behalf of other people? 'Sometimes yes, sometimes no'—it is tempting to answer. But this is not right. On pain of irrationality, we cannot be too selective about when we are time-biased on behalf of other people.
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  • How to Accept the Transitivity of Better Than.Justin Klocksiem - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1309-1334.
    Although the thesis that the moral better than relation is transitive seems obviously true, there is a growing literature according to which Parfit’s repugnant conclusion and related puzzles reveal that this thesis is false or problematic. This paper begins by presenting several such puzzles and explaining how they can be used in arguments for the intransitivity of better than. It then proposes and defends a plausible alternative picture of the behavior of better than that both resolves the repugnant conclusion and (...)
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