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Intuitions about large number cases

Analysis 73 (1):37-46 (2013)

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  1. 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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  • 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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  • Debunking and Disagreement.Folke Tersman - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):754-774.
    The fact that debunkers can turn to the argument from disagreement for help is ofcourse not a surprise. After all, both types of challenge basically pursue the same,skeptical conclusion. What I have tried to show, however, is that they are related in amore intimate way.
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  • Effective Altruism and the Altruistic Repugnant Conclusion.Pellegrino Gianfranco - 2017 - Essays in Philosophy 18 (1):44-67.
    Effective altruism is committed to Altruistic Maximization – the claim that any impact of giving to charities ought to be maximized at the margins and counterfactually. This may lead to counterintuitive or contradictory conclusions in certain cases. For instance, when we can bring about a substantial benefit to few or a tiny benefit to a larger number at the same cost, spreading of benefits across a great number of recipients can compensate substantial loss for fewer people. However, sometimes the perspective (...)
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  • Committing to Priorities: Incompleteness in Macro-Level Health Care Allocation and Its Implications.Anders Herlitz - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (6):724-745.
    This article argues that values that apply to health care allocation entail the possibility of “spectrum arguments,” and that it is plausible that they often fail to determine a best alternative. In order to deal with this problem, a two-step process is suggested. First, we should identify the Strongly Uncovered Set that excludes all alternatives that are worse than some alternatives and not better in any relevant dimension from the set of eligible alternatives. Because the remaining set of alternatives often (...)
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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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  • Can Parfit’s Appeal to Incommensurabilities Block the Continuum Argument for the Repugnant Conclusion?Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2019 - In Paul Bowman & Katharina Berndt Rasmussen (eds.), Studies on Climate Ethics and Future Generations, Vol. 1. Institute for Futures Studies.
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  • Partial Aggregation in Ethics.Joe Horton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):1-12.
    Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a migraine rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. The aim of partially aggregative moral views is to capture and justify combinations of intuitions like these. These views contrast with fully aggregative moral views, which imply that the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, and with (...)
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  • Does the Repugnant Conclusion Have Important Implications for Axiology or for Public Policy?Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics.
    Formal arguments have proven that avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion is impossible without rejecting one or more highly plausible population principles. To many, such proofs establish not only a deep challenge for axiology, but also pose an important practical problem of how policymaking can confidently proceed without resolving any of the central questions of population ethics. Here we offer deflationary responses: first to the practical challenge, and then to the more fundamental challenge for axiology. Regarding the practical challenge, we provide an (...)
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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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  • Non-Transitive Better Than Relations and Rational Choice.Anders Herlitz - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):179-189.
    This paper argues that decision problems and money-pump arguments should not be a deciding factor against accepting non-transitive better than relations. If the reasons to accept normative standpoints that entail a non-transitive better than relation are compelling enough, we ought to revise our decision method rather than the normative standpoints. The paper introduces the most common argument in favor of non-transitive better than relations. It then illustrates that there are different ways to reconceptualize rational choice so that rational choice is (...)
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