Theoria 72 (2):126-137 (2006)

Thomas Petersen
University of Copenhagen
The aim of this paper is to discuss the plausibility of a certain position in the philosophical literature within which the Repugnant Conclusion is treated, not as repugnant, but as an acceptable implication of the total welfare principle. I will confine myself to focus primarily on Törbjörn Tännsjö’s presentation. First, I reconstruct Tännsjö’s view concerning the repugnance of the RC in two arguments. The first argument is criticized for (a) addressing the wrong comparison, (b) relying on the controversial claim that the privileged people in our actual world only have lives barely worth living and (c) that Tännsjö’s identification between Z-lives and privileged lives is restricted to certain versions of the notion ‘barely worth living’ – a restriction that weakens the force of the argument. The second argument is criticized because some of it premises entailed (b) and (d) for its implausible claim that non-imaginable outcomes cannot be compared.
Keywords repugnant conclusion  torbjörn Tännsjö  Utilitarianism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1755-2567.2006.tb00949.x
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Overpopulation and the Quality of Life.Derek Parfit - 1986 - In Peter Singer (ed.), Applied Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 145-164.
Overpopulation and the Quality of Life.Derek Parfit - 2004 - In J. Ryberg & T. Tännsjö (eds.), The Repugnant Conclusion. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 7-22.
Utilitarianism, Hedonism, and Desert: Essays in Moral Philosophy.Fred Feldman - 1997 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Resources and the Acceptability of the Repugnant Conclusion.Stephen J. Schmidt - forthcoming - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science.

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