Population Axiology and the Possibility of a Fourth Category of Absolute Value

Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):81-110 (2020)
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Abstract

Critical-Range Utilitarianism is a variant of Total Utilitarianism which can avoid both the Repugnant Conclusion and the Sadistic Conclusion in population ethics. Yet Standard Critical-Range Utilitarianism entails the Weak Sadistic Conclusion, that is, it entails that each population consisting of lives at a bad well-being level is not worse than some population consisting of lives at a good well-being level. In this paper, I defend a version of Critical-Range Utilitarianism which does not entail the Weak Sadistic Conclusion. This is made possible by a fourth category of absolute value in addition to goodness, badness, and neutrality.

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Author's Profile

Johan E. Gustafsson
University of Texas at Austin

Citations of this work

Totalism without Repugnance.Jacob M. Nebel - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich & Ketan Ramakrishnan (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 200-231.
The Possibility of Undistinguishedness.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (2):609-613.

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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
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Problems of the Self.Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press.
Weighing lives.John Broome - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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