Dissertation, Stockholm University (2020)

Authors
Daniel Ramöller
Stockholm University
Abstract
This thesis discusses the possibility of limited moral trade-offs between different people’s welfare. In chapter 2, I introduce the two central limited trade-off conditions. First, according to minimal infinite superiority, significantly benefiting one person matters more than slightly benefiting each of any number of better-off people. Second, according to minimal finite superiority, significantly benefiting many people matters more than slightly benefiting one person. I consider both axiological and deontic interpretations of these conditions. However, I explain why none of the simple classic moral principles—the simple total and the maximin principles—satisfy both conditions. Furthermore, in chapter 3, I strengthen several proved impossibility results according to which no moral theory satisfies weak interpretations of these central trade-off conditions and several other seemingly plausible minimal conditions. I show that giving up structural axiological and deontic conditions is not a satisfactory solution to these paradoxes. In chapter 4, I discuss the modification of a background assumption of these impossibility results on the measurement of welfare. I show that, given a modification that allows for lexicographically ordered welfare components, a total principle can satisfy all the conditions of the impossibility results. However, I argue that such a modification is not entirely satisfactory because it does not apply in certain instances of the paradoxes. In chapter 5, I discuss a further weakening of minimal infinite superiority. However, I show that a suggested possibility result based on this modification is not valid and that further moral conditions, such as minimal finite superiority, need to be modified. Moreover, I argue that these modified conditions and the principle suggested in the possibility proof—a minimax complaint principle—do not capture the basic idea of the two central limited trade-off conditions sufficiently well. In chapter 6, I argue that other principles suggested for the task—the total claim principles—share the same fate as the simple total principles or the minimax complaint principle. In chapter 7, I propose new principles that take their structural roots from voting theory. I show that, in contrast to the other principles discussed, these principles give plausible verdicts where the other principles failed. Finally, in chapter 8, I consider possible objections levelled against this proposal, and I suggest solutions and avenues for future research.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
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: 69,066
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

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.

View all 80 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Search for New Axioms.Peter Koellner - 2003 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Nonideal Theory of Justice.Marcus Arvan - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Arizona
The Principal Principle Does Not Imply the Principle of Indifference.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):605-619.
Just War Theory and Cyber-Attacks.Leonard Kahn - 2013 - In Fritz Alhoff, Nicholas Evans & Adam Henschke (eds.), Not Just Wars. Routledge.
Principle-Based Moral Judgement.Maike Albertzart - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):339-354.
Is the Precautionary Principle a Midlevel Principle?Per Sandin & Martin Peterson - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):34-48.
Deference and Uniqueness.Christopher Meacham - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):709-732.
Infinite Utilitarianism: More is Always Better.Luc Lauwers & Peter Vallentyne - 2004 - Economics and Philosophy 20 (2):307-330.
The Principal Principle Does Not Imply the Principle of Indifference.Richard Pettigrew - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx060.
How to Preach.Michael Mcdermott - 1978 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8 (4):633 - 652.
Not-So-Minimal Models: Between Isolation and Imagination.Lorenzo Casini - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (5):646-672.
Multiple Principles of Political Obligation.George Klosko - 2004 - Philosophy Today 32 (6):801-824.
The Problems of Paternalism.George John Miller - 1981 - Dissertation, Brown University

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-05-13

Total views
15 ( #694,589 of 2,498,762 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #210,759 of 2,498,762 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes