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Erik Carlson [63]Erika Carlson [1]
  1. Plural harm: plural problems.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (2):553-565.
    The counterfactual comparative account of harm faces problems in cases that involve overdetermination and preemption. An influential strategy for dealing with these problems, drawing on a suggestion made by Derek Parfit, is to appeal to _plural harm_—several events _together_ harming someone. We argue that the most well-known version of this strategy, due to Neil Feit, as well as Magnus Jedenheim Edling’s more recent version, is fatally flawed. We also present some general reasons for doubting that the overdetermination and preemption problems (...)
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  2. Causal Accounts of Harming.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):420-445.
    A popular view of harming is the causal account (CA), on which harming is causing harm. CA has several attractive features. In particular, it appears well equipped to deal with the most important problems for its main competitor, the counterfactual comparative account (CCA). However, we argue that, despite its advantages, CA is ultimately an unacceptable theory of harming. Indeed, while CA avoids several counterexamples to CCA, it is vulnerable to close variants of some of the problems that beset CCA.
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  3.  77
    Well-Being Counterfactualist Accounts of Harm and Benefit.Olle Risberg, Jens Johansson & Erik Carlson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):164-174.
    ABSTRACT Suppose that, for every possible event and person who would exist whether or not the event were to occur, there is a well-being level that the person would occupy if the event were to occur, and a well-being level that the person would occupy if the event were not to occur. Do facts about such connections between events and well-being levels always suffice to determine whether an event would harm or benefit a person? Many seemingly attractive accounts of harm (...)
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  4.  30
    Consequentialism Reconsidered.Erik Carlson - 1995 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    In Consequentialism Reconsidered, Carlson strives to find a plausible formulation of the structural part of consequentialism. Key notions are analyzed, such as outcomes, alternatives and performability. Carlson argues that consequentialism should be understood as a maximizing rather than a satisficing theory, and as temporally neutral rather than future oriented. He also shows that certain moral theories cannot be reformulated as consequentialist theories. The relevant alternatives for an agent in a situation are taken to comprise all actions that they can perform (...)
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  5.  90
    More Problems for the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm and Benefit.Erik Carlson - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):795-807.
    The counterfactual comparative account of harm and benefit has several virtues, but it also faces serious problems. I argue that CCA is incompatible with the prudential and moral relevance of harm and benefit. Some possible ways to revise or restrict CCA, in order to avoid this conclusion, are discussed and found wanting. Finally, I try to show that appealing to the context-sensitivity of counterfactuals, or to the alleged contrastive nature of harm and benefit, does not provide a solution.
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  6.  73
    Well-Being without Being? A Reply to Feit.Erik Carlson & Jens Johansson - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):198-208.
    In a recent Utilitas article, Neil Feit argues that every person occupies a well-being level of zero at all times and possible worlds at which she fails to exist. Views like his face the problem of the subject': how can someone have a well-being level in a scenario where she lacks intrinsic properties? Feit argues that this problem can be solved by noting, among other things, that a proposition about a person can be true at a possible world in which (...)
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  7. On Some Impossibility Theorems in Population Ethics.Erik Carlson - 2022 - In Gustaf Arrhenius, Krister Bykvist, Tim Campbell & Elizabeth Finneron-Burns (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  8. Parity demystified.Erik Carlson - 2010 - Theoria 76 (2):119-128.
    Ruth Chang has defended a concept of "parity", implying that two items may be evaluatively comparable even though neither item is better than or equally good as the other. This article takes no stand on whether there actually are cases of parity. Its aim is only to make the hitherto somewhat obscure notion of parity more precise, by defining it in terms of the standard value relations. Given certain plausible assumptions, the suggested definiens is shown to state a necessary and (...)
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  9. Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics.Erik Carlson - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):283.
    A principal aim of the branch of ethics called ‘population theory’ or ‘population ethics’ is to find a plausible welfarist axiology, capable of comparing total outcomes with respect to value. This has proved an exceedingly difficult task. In this paper I shall state and discuss two ‘trilemmas’, or choices between three unappealing alternatives, which the population ethicist must face. The first trilemma is not new. It originates with Derek Parfit's well-known ‘Mere Addition Paradox’, and was first explicitly stated by Yew-Kwang (...)
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  10. Benefits are Better than Harms: A Reply to Feit.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):232-238.
    We have argued that the counterfactual comparative account of harm and benefit (CCA) violates the plausible adequacy condition that an act that would harm an agent cannot leave her much better off than an alternative act that would benefit her. In a recent paper in this journal, however, Neil Feit objects that our argument presupposes questionable counterfactual backtracking. He also argues that CCA proponents can justifiably reject the condition by invoking so-called plural harm and benefit. In this reply, we argue (...)
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  11.  42
    Reply to Klocksiem on the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm.Erik Carlson - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):407-413.
    In a recent article in this journal, I claimed that the widely held counterfactual comparative account of harm violates two very plausible principles about harm and prudential reasons. Justin Klocksiem argues, in a reply, that CCA is in fact compatible with these principles. In this rejoinder, I shall try to show that Klocksiem’s defense of CCA fails.
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  12. Vagueness, Incomparability, and the Collapsing Principle.Erik Carlson - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):449-463.
    John Broome has argued that incomparability and vagueness cannot coexist in a given betterness order. His argument essentially hinges on an assumption he calls the ‘collapsing principle’. In an earlier article I criticized this principle, but Broome has recently expressed doubts about the cogency of my criticism. Moreover, Cristian Constantinescu has defended Broome’s view from my objection. In this paper, I present further arguments against the collapsing principle, and try to show that Constantinescu’s defence of Broome’s position fails.
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  13.  50
    Prudential Problems for the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm and Benefit.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (2):474-481.
    In this paper, we put forward two novel arguments against the counterfactual comparative account (CCA) of harm and benefit. In both arguments, the central theme is that CCA conflicts with plausible judgements about benefit and prudence.
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  14.  51
    The Significance of Tiny Contributions : Barnett and Beyond.Erik Carlson, Magnus Jedenheim-Edling & Jens Johansson - forthcoming - Utilitas.
    In a discussion of Parfit's Drops of Water case, Zach Barnett has recently proposed a novel argument against “No Small Improvement”; that is, the claim that a single drop of water cannot affect the magnitude of a thirsty person's suffering. We first show that Barnett's argument can be significantly strengthened, and also that the fundamental idea behind it yields a straightforward argument for the transitivity of equal suffering. We then suggest that defenders of No Small Improvement could reject a Pareto (...)
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  15. Broome's argument against value incomparability.Erik Carlson - 2004 - Utilitas 16 (2):220-224.
    John Broome has argued that alleged cases of value incomparability are really examples of vagueness in the betterness relation. The main premiss of his argument is ‘the collapsing principle’. I argue that this principle is dubious, and that Broome's argument is therefore unconvincing. Correspondence:c1 [email protected].
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  16. Higher-Order Control: An Argument for Moral Luck.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Anna Nyman - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, we give a new argument for the existence of moral luck. The argument is based on a manipulation case in which two agents both lack second-order control over their actions, but one of them has first-order control. Our argument is, we argue, in several respects stronger than standard arguments for moral luck. Five possible objections to the argument are considered, and its general significance for the debate on moral luck is briefly discussed.
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  17. Consequentialism, alternatives, and actualism.Erik Carlson - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (3):253-268.
  18. Incompatibilism and the transfer of power necessity.Erik Carlson - 2000 - Noûs 34 (2):277-290.
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  19. The Oughts and Cans of Objective Consequentialism.Erik Carlson - 1999 - Utilitas 11 (1):91-96.
    Frances Howard -Snyder has argued that objective consequentialism violates the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In most situations, she claims, we cannot produce the best consequences available, although objective consequentialism says that we ought to do so. Here I try to show that Howard -Snyder's argument is unsound. The claim that we typically cannot produce the best consequences available is doubtful. And even if there is a sense of ‘producing the best consequences’ in which we cannot do so, objective consequentialism (...)
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  20.  73
    Organic Unities and Conditionalism About Final Value.Erik Carlson - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (2):175-181.
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  21. ‘Good’ in Terms of ‘Better’.Erik Carlson - 2014 - Noûs 50 (1):213-223.
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  22.  91
    The intrinsic value of non-basic states of affairs.Erik Carlson - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 85 (1):95-107.
  23.  73
    The small-improvement argument rescued.Erik Carlson - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):171-174.
    Gustafsson and Espinoza have recently argued that the ‘small-improvement argument’, against completeness as a rationality requirement for preference orderings, is defective. They claim that the two main premises of the argument conflict, and hence should not both be accepted. I show that this conflict can be avoided by modifying one of the premises.
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  24. Aggregating Harms - Should We Kill to Avoid Headaches?Erik Carlson - 2000 - Theoria 66 (3):246-255.
    It is plausible to claim that it is morally worse to kill an innocent person than to give any number of people a mild one‐hour headache. Alaistar Norcross has argued that consequentialists, at least, should reject this claim. According to him, any harm that can befall a person can be morally outweighed by a sufficient number of very small harms. He gives a general argument for this view, and tries to show, by means of an argument from analogy, that it (...)
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  25.  83
    Cyclical preferences and rational choice.Erik Carlson - 1996 - Theoria 62 (1-2):144-160.
  26.  46
    Bontly on Harm and the Non-Identity Problem.Erik Carlson & Jens Johansson - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (4):477-481.
    The ‘non-identity problem’ raises a well-known challenge to the person-affecting view, according to which an action can be wrong only if it affects someone for the worse. In a recent article, however, Thomas D. Bontly proposes a novel way to solve the non-identity problem in person-affecting terms. Bontly's argument is based on a contrastive causal account of harm. In this response, we argue that Bontly's argument fails even assuming that the contrastive causal account is correct.
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  27. Organic unities, non-trade-off, and the additivity of intrinsic value.Erik Carlson - 2001 - The Journal of Ethics 5 (4):335-360.
    Whether or not intrinsic value is additively measurable is often thought to depend on the truth or falsity of G. E. Moore's principle of organic unities. I argue that the truth of this principle is, contrary to received opinion, compatible with additive measurement. However, there are other very plausible evaluative claims that are more difficult to combine with the additivity of intrinsic value. A plausible theory of the good should allow that there are certain kinds of states of affairs whose (...)
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  28. Consequentialism, Distribution and Desert.Erik Carlson - 1997 - Utilitas 9 (3):307.
    This paper criticizes the consequentialist theory recently put forward by Fred Feldman. I argue that this theory violates two crucial requirements. Another theory, proposed by Peter Vallentyne, is similarly flawed. Feldman's basic ideas could, however, be developed into a more plausible theory. I suggest one possible way of doing this.
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  29.  26
    Pitcovski’s explanation-based account of harm.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (2):535-545.
    In a recent article in this journal, Eli Pitcovski puts forward a novel, explanation-based account of harm. We seek to show that Pitcovski’s account, and his arguments in favor of it, can be substantially improved. However, we also argue that, even thus improved, the account faces a dilemma. The dilemma concerns the question of what it takes for an event, E, to explain why a state, P, does not obtain. Does this require that P would have obtained if E had (...)
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  30. The presumption of nothingness.Erik Carlson & Erik J. Olsson - 2001 - Ratio 14 (3):203–221.
    Several distinguished philosophers have argued that since the state of affairs where nothing exists is the simplest and least arbitrary of all cosmological possibilities, we have reason to be surprised that there is in fact a non-empty universe. We review this traditional argument, and defend it against two recent criticisms put forward by Peter van Inwagen and Derek Parfit. Finally, we argue that the traditional argument nevertheless needs reformulation, and that the cogency of the reformulated argument depends partly on whether (...)
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  31. Higher Values and Non-Archimedean Additivity.Erik Carlson - 2007 - Theoria 73 (1):3-27.
    Many philosophers have claimed that extensive or additive measurement is incompatible with the existence of "higher values", any amount of which is better than any amount of some other value. In this paper, it is shown that higher values can be incorporated in a non-standard model of extensive measurement, with values represented by sets of ordered pairs of real numbers, rather than by single reals. The suggested model is mathematically fairly simple, and it applies to structures including negative as well (...)
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  32.  53
    Unruh's hybrid account of harm.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Theoria 89 (5):748-754.
    Charlotte Unruh has recently put forward a hybrid account of what it is to suffer harm – one that combines comparative and non‐comparative elements. We raise two problems for Unruh's account. The first concerns killing and death; the second concerns the causing of temporarily low or high welfare.
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  33.  47
    Intransitivity Without Zeno's Paradox.Erik Carlson - 2005 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), Recent work on intrinsic value. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 273--277.
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  34.  52
    A note on Moore's organic unities.Erik Carlson - 1997 - Journal of Value Inquiry 31 (1):55-59.
  35.  33
    Doing Harm: A Reply to Klocksiem.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Utilitas 35 (3):229-237.
    In a recent article in this journal, Justin Klocksiem proposes a novel response to the widely discussed failure to benefit problem for the counterfactual comparative account of harm (CCA). According to Klocksiem, proponents of CCA can deal with this problem by distinguishing between facts about there being harm and facts about an agent's having done harm. In this reply, we raise three sets of problems for Klocksiem's approach.
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  36.  16
    Value Theory.Erik Carlson - 2012 - In Sven Ove Hansson & Vincent F. Hendricks (eds.), Introduction to Formal Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 523-534.
    This chapter deals with an area of study sometimes called “formal value theory” or “formal axiology”. Roughly characterized, this area investigates the structural and logical properties of value properties and value relations, such as goodness, badness, and betterness. There is a long-standing controversy about whether goodness and badness can, in principle, be measured on a cardinal scale, in a way similar to the measurement of well-understood quantitative concepts like length. Sect. 28.1 investigates this issue, mainly by comparing the properties of (...)
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  37.  7
    Fischer on the Time of Death’s Badness.Erik Carlson, Karl Ekendahl & Jens Johansson - 2024 - Philosophia 52 (2):435-444.
    In a recent article in this journal, John Martin Fischer defends the view that death harms its victim after she dies. More specifically, he develops a “truthmaking” account in order to solve what he calls the Problem of Predication for this view. In this reply, we argue that Fischer’s proposed solution to this problem is unsuccessful.
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  38.  35
    A Refutation of Spectrum Arguments for Nontransitive Betterness.Erik Carlson - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (4):2147-2150.
    This short paper states a new objection against “spectrum arguments” for nontransitive betterness. It is shown that defenders of such arguments must reject one of two very plausible principles.
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  39.  71
    In Defence of the Mind Argument.Erik Carlson - 2002 - Philosophia 29 (1-4):393-400.
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  40. Organic Unities.Erik Carlson - 2015 - In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. New York NY: Oxford University Press USA.
    In value theory, the notion of an organic unity is usually associated with G. E. Moore. In his Principia Ethica, Moore provided two definitions of an organic unity. In the first section of this chapter, it is argued that both definitions fail to capture Moore’s intentions, as well as being inadequate for measurement-theoretical reasons. Section 15.2 briefly investigates whether the existence of organic unities, as conceived by Moore, entails that intrinsic or final value cannot be additively measured. In section 15.3, (...)
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  41.  17
    The Intrinsic Value of Non-Basic States of Affairs.Erik Carlson - 2005 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), Recent work on intrinsic value. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 361--370.
  42. Fischer on backtracking and newcomb's problem.Erik Carlson - 1998 - Analysis 58 (3):229–231.
  43.  50
    Is Our Existence in Need of Further Explanation?Erik Carlson & Erik J. Olsson - 1998 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):255-275.
    Several philosophers have argued that our cosmos is either purposely created by some rational being, or else just one among a vast number of actually existing cosmoi. According to John Leslie and Peter van Inwagen, the existence of a cosmos containing rational beings is analogous to drawing the winning straw among millions of straws. The best explanation in the latter case, they maintain, is that the drawing was either rigged by someone, or else many such lotteries have taken place. Arnold (...)
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  44.  58
    Counterexamples to Principle Beta: A Response to Crisp and Warfield.Erik Carlson - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):730-737.
    The well‐known “Consequence Argument” for the incompatibility of freedom and determinism relies on a certain rule of inference; “Principle Beta”. Thomas Crisp and Ted Warfield have recently argued that all hitherto suggested counterexamples to Beta can be easily circumvented by proponents of the Consequence Argument. I present a new counterexample which, I argue, is free from the flaws Crisp and Warfield detect in earlier examples.
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  45.  52
    Elvio Baccarini.Josip Balabanić, Damir Barbarić, Boran Berčić, Giovanni Boniolo, Branka Brujić, Alex Byrne, Erik Carlson, Maudemarie Clark, Nadežda Čačinovič & Zvonimir Čuljak - 2008 - Prolegomena 7:1.
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  46. Brink's and Pietroski's Obligation Execution Principle.Erik Carlson - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):275 - 279.
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  47. Cirkulär tid – ett varv till.Erik Carlson - 2007 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 1.
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  48. Cirkulär tid och den eviga återkomsten.Erik Carlson - 2006 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 2.
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  49.  28
    Disappointment for others.Patrick J. Carroll, James A. Shepperd, Kate Sweeny, Erika Carlson & Joann P. Benigno - 2007 - Cognition and Emotion 21 (7):1565-1576.
  50.  7
    Existence, Beneficience, and Design.Erik Carlson & Erik J. Olsson - 2001 - In Jan Österberg, Erik Carlson & Rysiek Śliwiński (eds.), Omnium-gatherum: philosophical essays dedicated to Jan Österberg on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. Uppsala: Dept. of Philosophy, Uppsala University. pp. 79-92.
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