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  1. Epistemic repugnance four ways.Brian Talbot - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3001-3022.
    Value-based epistemology sees epistemic norms as explained by or grounded in distinctively epistemic values. This paper argues that, no matter what epistemic value is, credences or beliefs about some topics have at most infinitesimal amounts of this value. This makes it hard to explain why epistemic norms apply at all to credences or beliefs on these topics. My argument is inspired by a recent series of papers on epistemic versions of Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion. The discussion in those papers parallels work (...)
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  • Resources and the acceptability of the Repugnant Conclusion.Stephen J. Schmidt - forthcoming - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science.
    Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion argues, against intuition, that for any world A, another world Z with higher population and minimal well-being is better. That intuition is incorrect because the argument has not considered resources that support well-being. Z must have many more resources supporting well-being than A does. Z is repugnant because it spreads those resources among too many people; another world with Z’s resources and fewer people, if available, would be far superior. But Z is still better than A; it (...)
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  • The Value of Existence.Wlodek Rabinowicz & Gustaf Arrhenius - 2015 - In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. Oxford University Press USA. pp. 424-444.
    Can it be better or worse for a person to exist than not to exist at all? This old and challenging existential question has been raised anew in contemporary moral philosophy, mainly for two reasons. First, traditional “impersonal” ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, have counterintuitive implications in population ethics, for example, the repugnant conclusion. Second, it has seemed evident to many that an outcome can be better than another only if it is better for someone, and that only moral theories (...)
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  • Asymmetries in the Value of Existence.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):126-145.
    According to asymmetric comparativism, it is worse for a person to exist with a miserable life than not to exist, but it is not better for a person to exist with a happy life than not to exist. My aim in this paper is to explain how asymmetric comparativism could possibly be true. My account of asymmetric comparativism begins with a different asymmetry, regarding the (dis)value of early death. I offer an account of this early death asymmetry, appealing to the (...)
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  • Transfinitely Transitive Value.Kacper Kowalczyk - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):108-134.
    This paper develops transfinite extensions of transitivity and acyclicity in the context of population ethics. They are used to argue that it is better to add good lives, worse to add bad lives, and equally good to add neutral lives, where a life's value is understood as personal value. These conclusions rule out a number of theories of population ethics, feed into an argument for the repugnant conclusion, and allow us to reduce different-number comparisons to same-number ones. Challenges to these (...)
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  • Coercive population policies, procreative freedom, and morality.R. Juha - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):67 – 77.
    I shall briefly evaluate the common claim that ethically acceptable population policies must let individuals to decide freely on the number of their children. I shall ask, first, what exactly is the relation between population policies that we find intuitively appealing, on the one hand, and population policies that maximize procreative freedom, on the other, and second, what is the relation between population policies that we tend to reject on moral grounds, on the one hand, and population policies that use (...)
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  • The Subject of Harm in Non-Identity Cases.Jens Johansson - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):1-15.
    In a typical non-identity case, the agent performs an action that causes someone to exist at a low but positive level of well-being, although an alternative was to create another, much happier person instead. There seem to be strong moral reasons against what the agent does, but it is difficult to explain how this can be so. In particular, it seems that on a simple counterfactual account of harm, the action does not harm anyone, as it does not make anyone (...)
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  • The Subject of Harm in Non-Identity Cases.Jens Johansson - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):825-839.
    In a typical non-identity case, the agent performs an action that causes someone to exist at a low but positive level of well-being, although an alternative was to create another, much happier person instead. There seem to be strong moral reasons against what the agent does, but it is difficult to explain how this can be so. In particular, it seems that on a simple counterfactual account of harm, the action does not harm anyone, as it does not make anyone (...)
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  • Population axiology.Hilary Greaves - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12442.
    Population axiology is the study of the conditions under which one state of affairs is better than another, when the states of affairs in ques- tion may differ over the numbers and the identities of the persons who ever live. Extant theories include totalism, averagism, variable value theories, critical level theories, and “person-affecting” theories. Each of these the- ories is open to objections that are at least prima facie serious. A series of impossibility theorems shows that this is no coincidence: (...)
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  • Moral Uncertainty About Population Axiology.Hilary Greaves & Toby Ord - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (2):135-167.
    Given the deep disagreement surrounding population axiology, one should remain uncertain about which theory is best. However, this uncertainty need not leave one neutral about which acts are better or worse. We show that, as the number of lives at stake grows, the Expected Moral Value approach to axiological uncertainty systematically pushes one toward choosing the option preferred by the Total View and critical-level views, even if one’s credence in those theories is low.
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  • Essentialism and the Nonidentity Problem.Shamik Dasgupta - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):540-570.
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  • Community and the Rights of Future Generations: a reply to Robert Elliot.Avner de-Shalit - 1992 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 9 (1):105-115.
    It is widely recognised that we hold certain moral obligations to future generations. Robert Elliot argues that we can base these obligations on the rights of future people. I accept his argument that future people are moral agents who possess rights. However, I argue that the main question for political and moral philosophers is whether it is possible to find the balance between the obligations to, and the rights of, contemporaries, and the obligations to, and the rights of, future people. (...)
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  • The Procreation Asymmetry, Improvable-Life Avoidance, and Impairable-Life Acceptance.Elliott Thornley - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Many philosophers are attracted to a complaints-based theory of the procreation asymmetry, according to which creating a person with a bad life is wrong (all else equal) because that person can complain about your act, whereas declining to create a person who would have a good life is not wrong (all else equal) because that person never exists and so cannot complain about your act. In this paper, I present two problems for such theories: the problem of impairable-life acceptance and (...)
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  • Harming as causing harm.Elizabeth Harman - 2009 - In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer Verlag. pp. 137--154.
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  • The repugnant conclusion.Jesper Ryberg - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In Derek Parfit's original formulation the Repugnant Conclusion is characterized as follows: “For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better even though its members have lives that are barely worth living” (Parfit 1984). The Repugnant Conclusion highlights a problem in an area of ethics which has become known as population ethics . The (...)
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  • Better to be than not to be?Wlodek Rabinowicz & Gustaf Arrhenius - 2010 - In Hans Joas & Barbro Klein (eds.), The Benefit of Broad Horizons: Intellectual and Institutional Preconditions for a Global Social Science. International comparative social studies (24). Brill. pp. 399-421.
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  • Moral uncertainty about population ethics.Hilary Greaves & Toby Ord - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Given the deep disagreement surrounding population axiology, one should remain uncertain about which theory is best. However, this uncertainty need not leave one neutral about which acts are better or worse. We show that as the number of lives at stake grows, the Expected Moral Value approach to axiological uncertainty systematically pushes one towards choosing the option preferred by the Total and Critical Level views, even if one’s credence in those theories is low.
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  • Ethical Theory and Population Problems.Kevin Espen Moon - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ethical theory faces a group of difficult puzzles concerning populations. Here is one: would it be right to maximize utility by causing the number of people existing in the further future to be very, very large, even if this means that each of their lives is barely worth living? Derek Parfit concludes that standard utilitarianism yields the result that it would be right to create such a world. He calls this conclusion "repugnant." I begin with an examination of the objection, (...)
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  • Better to Be Than Not to BE?Rabinowicz Wlodek, Gustaf Arrhenius & Joas Hans - 2010 - In Hans Joas (ed.), The Benefit of Broad Horizons: Intellectual and Institutional Preconditions for a Global Social Science: Festschrift for Bjorn Wittrock on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday. Leiden, Boston: Brill. pp. 399-421.
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