Philosophical Studies 51 (1):123 - 137 (1987)

Authors
James Leonard Hudson
Northern Illinois University
Abstract
Thomas Hurka has recently proposed a utilitarian theory which would effect a compromise between Average and Total utilitarianism, the better to deal with issues in population ethics. This Compromise theory would incorporate the principle that the value which an extra happy person contributes to a possible world is a decreasing function of the total population of that world: that happy people are of diminishing marginal value. In spite of its initial plausibility I argue against this principle. I show that the Compromise theory is actually no improvement over the two original versions of utilitarianism; in particular, it is subject to almost all the objections which are fatal to Average utilitarianism, and more besides. And I attempt to dispell the appearance that intuition supports the Compromise theory as against Total utilitarianism, by arguing that the latter's Repugnant Conclusion, when properly understood, is not intuitively unacceptable. Total utilitarianism remains a plausible ethical theory, while both the Average and the Compromise theories should be definitely rejected.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00353967
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,337
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics.Erik Carlson - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):283.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

In Defence of Repugnance.Michael Huemer - 2008 - Mind 117 (468):899-933.
Desert as Fit: An Axiomatic Analysis.Gustaf Arrhenius - 2006 - In Kris McDaniel, Jason R. Raibley, Richard Feldman & Michael E. Zimmerman (eds.), The Good, the Right, Life And Death: Essays in Honor of Fred Feldman. Aldershot: Ashgate Pub Co. pp. 3-17.
Life Extension Versus Replacement.Gustaf Arrhenius - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):211-227.
Axiological Actualism.Josh Parsons - 2002 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):137 – 147.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
63 ( #181,585 of 2,507,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #138,934 of 2,507,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes