Broome and the intuition of neutrality

Philosophical Issues 19 (1):389-411 (2009)
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Abstract

In “Weighing Lives” (2004) John Broome criticizes a view common to many population axiologists. On that view, population increases with extra people leading decent lives are axiologically neutral: they make the world neither better nor worse, ceteris paribus. Broome argues that this intuition, however, attractive, cannot be sustained, for several independent reasons. I respond to his criticisms and suggest that the neutrality intuition, if correctly interpreted, can after all be defended.On the version I defend,the world with added extra people at wellbeing levels within the neutrality range is incommensurable in value with the world in which these peaople are absent.

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Wlodek Rabinowicz
Lund University

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.
Population axiology.Hilary Greaves - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12442.
An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):309-343.

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References found in this work

The possibility of parity.Ruth Chang - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):659-688.
Moral problems of population.Jan Narveson - 1973 - The Monist 57 (1):62–86.

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