Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2103-2117 (2019)

James Fanciullo
Lingnan University
Recently, Derek Parfit has offered a novel solution to the “Repugnant Conclusion” that compared with the existence of many people whose quality of life would be very high, there is some much larger number of people whose existence would be better but whose lives would be barely worth living. On this solution, qualitative differences between two populations will often entail that the populations are merely “imprecisely” comparable. According to Parfit, this fact allows us to avoid the Repugnant Conclusion without violating the transitivity of better than. In this paper, I argue that Parfit’s view nevertheless implies two objectionable conclusions. The first is an alternative version of the Repugnant Conclusion that, Parfit suggests, may not be all that repugnant. The second is a revised version of the first that is nearly identical to the Repugnant Conclusion. I conclude that Parfit’s view offers no escape from repugnance.
Keywords imprecision  lexical superiority  population ethics  Repugnant Conclusion
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1117-4
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Possibility of Parity.Ruth Chang - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):659-688.

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