The paradoxes of future generations and normative theory

In Torbjörn Tännsjö & Jesper Ryberg (eds.), The Repugnant Conclusion: Essays on Population Ethics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 201-218 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

As the title of this paper indicates, I’m going to discuss what we ought to do in situations where our actions affect future generations. More specifically, I shall focus on the moral problems raised by cases where our actions affect who’s going to live, their number and their well being. I’ll start, however, with population axiology. Most discussion in population ethics has concentrated on how to evaluate populations in regard to their goodness, that is, how to order populations by the relations “is better than” and “is as good as”. This field has been riddled with “paradoxes” which purport to show that our considered beliefs are inconsistent in cases where the number of people and their welfare varies. Derek Parfit’s Mere Addition Paradox is a case in point. The main question of my paper concerns the implication of such axiological paradoxes for normative theories. Do the axiological paradoxes translate into paradoxes for normative theories or will they, as some believe, disappear if we switch to a normative framework?

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

One more axiological impossibility theorem.Gustaf Arrhenius - 2009 - In Lars-Göran Johansson, Jan Österberg & Ryszard Sliwinski (eds.), Logic, Ethics and All That Jazz. Essays in Honour of Jordan Howard Sobel. Uppsala: Uppsala Philosophical Studies. pp. 23-37.
Conservation, foresight, and the future generations problem.Steve Vanderheiden - 2006 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):337 – 352.
Markets, Justice, and the Interests of Future Generations.Clark Wolf - 1996 - Ethics and the Environment 1 (2):153 - 175.
Paradoxes of intensionality.Dustin Tucker & Richmond H. Thomason - 2011 - Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (3):394-411.
Future Generations and Business Ethics.Ronald Jeurissen & Gerard Keijzers - 2004 - Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (1):47-69.
The Very Repugnant Conclusion.Gustaf Arrhenius - 2003 - In Krister Segerberg & Ryszard Sliwinski (eds.), Logic, Law, Morality: Thirteen Essays in Practical Philosophy in Honour of Lennart Åqvist. Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University. pp. 29-44.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-31

Downloads
246 (#78,339)

6 months
21 (#115,623)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Gustaf Arrhenius
Stockholm University

Citations of this work

Harming as causing harm.Elizabeth Harman - 2009 - In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer Verlag. pp. 137--154.
Non-Archimedean population axiologies.Calvin Baker - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references