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Krister Bykvist
Stockholm University
  1.  58
    Moral Uncertainty.William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist & Toby Ord - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    How should we make decisions when we're uncertain about what we ought, morally, to do? Decision-making in the face of fundamental moral uncertainty is underexplored terrain: MacAskill, Bykvist, and Ord argue that there are distinctive norms by which it is governed, and which depend on the nature of one's moral beliefs.
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  2. Does thought imply ought?Krister Bykvist & Anandi Hattiangadi - 2007 - Analysis 67 (4):277–285.
    N.B. Dr Bykvist is now based at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. The full-text of this article is not currently available in ORA, but you may be able to access the article via the publisher copy link on this record page.
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  3. Moral uncertainty.Krister Bykvist - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12408.
    What should we do when we are not certain about what we morally should do? There is a long history of theorizing about decision-making under empirical uncertainty, but surprisingly little has been written about the moral uncertainty expressed by this question. Only very recently have philosophers started to systematically address the nature of such uncertainty and its impacts on decision-making. This paper addresses the main problems raised by moral uncertainty and critically examines some proposed solutions.
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  4. No Good Fit: Why the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value Fails.Krister Bykvist - 2009 - Mind 118 (469):1-30.
    Understanding value in terms of fitting attitudes is all the rage these days. According to this fitting attitude analysis of value (FA-analysis for short) what is good is what it is fitting to favour in some sense. Many aspects of the FA-analysis have been discussed. In particular, a lot of discussion has been concerned with the wrong-reason objection: it can be fitting to have an attitude towards something for reasons that have nothing to do with the value the thing has (...)
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  5. The Benefits of Coming into Existence.Krister Bykvist - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (3):335-362.
    This paper argues that we can benefit or harm people by creating them, but only in the sense that we can create things that are good or bad for them. What we cannot do is to confer comparative benefits and harms to people by creating them or failing to create them. You are not better off (or worse off) created than you would have been had you not been created, for nothing has value for you if you do not exist, (...)
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  6. Prudence for changing selves.Krister Bykvist - 2006 - Utilitas 18 (3):264-283.
    What is the prudentially right thing to do in situations in which our actions will shape our preferences? Suppose, for instance, that you are considering getting married, and that you know that if you get married, you will prefer being unmarried, and that if you stay unmarried, you will prefer being married. This is the problem I will deal with in this article. I will begin by explaining why preferences matter to prudence. I will then go on to discuss a (...)
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  7.  71
    Taking values seriously.Krister Bykvist - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6331-6356.
    Recently, there has been a revival in taking empirical magnitudes seriously. Weights, heights, velocities and the like have been accepted as abstract entities in their own right rather than just equivalence classes of objects. The aim of my paper is to show that this revival should include value magnitudes. If we posit such magnitudes, important value comparisons can be easily explained; it becomes easier to satisfy the axioms for measurement of value; goodness, badness, and neutrality can be given univocal definitions; (...)
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  8.  49
    The Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics.Gustaf Arrhenius, Krister Bykvist, Tim Campbell & Elizabeth Finneron-Burns (eds.) - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
    This handbook presents up-to-date theoretical analyses of problems associated with the moral standing of future people in current decision-making. Future people pose an especially hard problem for our current decision-making, since their number and their identities are not fixed but depend on the choices the present generation makes. Do we make the world better by creating more people with good lives? What do we owe future generations in terms of justice? Such questions are not only philosophically difficult and important, but (...)
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  9. Expressivism and moral certitude.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):202-215.
    Michael Smith has recently argued that non-cognitivists are unable to accommodate crucial structural features of moral belief, and in particular that non-cognitivists have trouble accounting for subjects' certitude with respect to their moral beliefs. James Lenman and Michael Ridge have independently constructed 'ecumenical' versions of non-cognitivism, intended to block this objection. We argue that these responses do not work. If ecumenical non-cognitivism, a hybrid view which incorporates both non-cognitivist and cognitivist elements, fails to meet Smith's challenge, it is unlikely that (...)
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  10.  86
    Alternative actions and the spirit of consequentialism.Krister Bykvist - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 107 (1):45 - 68.
    The simple idea behind act-consequentialism isthat we ought to choose the action whoseoutcome is better than that of any alternativeaction. In a recent issue of this journal, ErikCarlson has argued that given a reasonableinterpretation of alternative actions thissimple idea cannot be upheld but that the newtheory he proposes nevertheless preserves theact-consequentialist spirit. My aim in thispaper is to show that Carlson is wrong on bothcounts. His theory, contrary to his ownintentions, is not an act-consequentialisttheory. By building on a theory formulated (...)
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  11. Epistemic Transformation and Rational Choice.Krister Bykvist & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (1):125-138.
    L. A. Paul has recently argued that the epistemically transformative nature of certain experiences makes it impossible to rationally decide whether to have the experience or not. We start by explaining why, contrary to what Paul claims, epistemically transformative experiences do not pose a general problem for the possibility of rational choice. However, we show there is a particular type of agent for whom the problem identified by Paul does arise. With this agent in mind, we examine Paul’s own suggestion (...)
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  12. Utilitarianism: A Guide for the Perplexed.Krister Bykvist - 2009 - Continuum.
    Introduction -- The nature and assessment of moral theories -- What is utilitarianism? -- Well-being -- Utilitarian aggregation -- A user-friendly guide to action? -- Is utilitarianism too demanding? -- Is utilitarianism too permissive? -- The way outcomes are brought about -- The place of rules in utilitarianism.
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  13.  58
    Against the Being For Account of Normative Certitude.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2):1-8.
    Just as we can be more or less certain about empirical matters, we can be more or less certain about normative matters. Recently, it has been argued that this is a challenge for noncognitivism about normativity. Michael Smith presented the challenge in a 2002 paper and James Lenman and Michael Ridge responded independently. Andrew Sepielli has now joined the rescue operation. His basic idea is that noncognitivists should employ the notion of being for to account for normative certitude. We shall (...)
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  14. Violations of normative invariance: Some thoughts on shifty oughts.Krister Bykvist - 2007 - Theoria 73 (2):98-120.
    It seems paradoxical to say that an action's normative status ‐ whether it is right, wrong, or obligatory ‐ depends on whether or not it is performed. In this paper, I shall argue that in itself this dependency is not paradoxical. I shall argue that we should not reject a normative theory just because it implies this kind of dependency. Not all dependencies of this kind are bad, or at least not bad enough to warrant wholesale rejection. Instead, we should (...)
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  15.  67
    Non-Cognitivism and Fundamental Moral Certitude: Reply to Eriksson and Francén Olinder.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):794-799.
    Accommodating degrees of moral certitude is a serious problem for non-cognitivism about ethics. In particular, non-cognitivism has trouble accommodating fundamental moral certitude. John Eriksson and Ragnar Francén Olinder [2016] have recently proposed a solution. In fact, Eriksson and Francén Olinder offer two different proposals—one ‘classification’ account and one ‘projectivist’ account. We argue that the classification account faces the same problem as previous accounts do, while the projectivist account has unacceptable implications. Non-cognitivists will have to look elsewhere for a plausible solution (...)
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  16.  62
    Quasi-realism and normative certitude.Stina Björkholm, Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7861-7869.
    Just as we can be more or less certain that there is extraterrestrial life or that Goldbach’s conjecture is correct, we can be more or less certain about normative matters, such as whether euthanasia is permissible or whether utilitarianism is true. However, accommodating the phenomenon of degrees of normative certitude is a difficult challenge for non-cognitivist and expressivist views, according to which normative judgements are desire-like attitudes rather than beliefs. Several attempts have been made on behalf of non-cognitivism and expressivism (...)
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  17. Can unstable preferences provide a stable standard of well-being?Krister Bykvist - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):1-26.
    How do we determine the well-being of a person when her preferences are not stable across worlds? Suppose, for instance, that you are considering getting married, and that you know that if you get married, you will prefer being unmarried, and that if you stay unmarried, you will prefer being married. The general problem is to find a stable standard of well-being when the standard is set by preferences that are not stable. In this paper, I shall show that the (...)
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  18.  36
    Persson's Merely Possible Persons.Krister Bykvist & Tim Campbell - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (4):479-487.
    All else being equal, creating a miserable person makes the world worse, and creating an ecstatic person makes it better. Such claims are easily justified if it can be better, or worse, for a person to exist than not to exist. But that seems to require that things can be better, or worse, for a person even in a world in which she does not exist. Ingmar Persson defends this seemingly paradoxical claim in his latest book, Inclusive Ethics. He argues (...)
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  19. The good, the bad, and the ethically neutral.Krister Bykvist - 2007 - Economics and Philosophy 23 (1):97-105.
    John Broome's Weighing Lives provides a much-needed framework for the intriguing problems of population ethics. It is also an impressive attempt to find a workable solution to these problems. I am not sure that Broome has found the right solution, but I think he has done the ethics profession a tremendous service in tidying up the discussion. The framework he presents will make it possible for the participants in this debate to formulate their positions in a clear and precise manner. (...)
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  20.  47
    The moral relevance of past preferences.Krister Bykvist - 2003 - In Heather Dyke (ed.), Time and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 115--136.
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  21. Normative Supervenience and Consequentialism.Krister Bykvist - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (1):27.
    Act-consequentialism is usually taken to be the view that we ought to perform the act that will have the best consequences. But this definition ignores the possibility of various non-maximizing forms of act-consequentialism, e.g. satisficing theories that tell us to perform the act whose consequences will be good enough. What seems crucial to act-consequentialism is not that we ought to maximize value but that the normative status of alternative actions depends solely on the values of their outcomes. The purpose of (...)
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  22.  55
    Some Critical Comments on Zimmerman’s Ignorance and Moral Obligation.Krister Bykvist - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (4):383-400.
    In his recent book, Michael Zimmerman continues to defend the Prospective View, according to which moral obligation depends on evidence about both empirical and evaluative factors. In my commentary, I shall first focus on Zimmerman’s framework in which different moral theories are defined and distinguished. I argue that Zimmerman fails to formulate a clear and coherent distinction between The Prospective View and the Objective View, which he rejects. Then I turn to the so-called constraint #2, a crucial premise in Zimmerman’s (...)
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  23. Objective versus Subjective Moral Oughts.Krister Bykvist - manuscript
  24.  76
    Sumner On Desires and Well-Being.Krister Bykvist - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):475-490.
    A person's welfare or well-being concerns what is good for him, what makes his life worth living. It therefore depends crucially on facts about the person and his life. As William James once remarked, whether a life is worth living depends on the liver. How this dependency should be spelled out is a controversial question. Desire theorists, or as I shall call them well-being preferentialists, claim that a person's well-being depends on his desires and preferences.
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  25.  87
    Utilitarian deontologies? On preference utilitarianism and agent-relative value.Krister Bykvist - 1996 - Theoria 62 (1-2):124-143.
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  26. Future Generations and Interpersonal Compensations: Moral Aspects of Energy Use.Gustaf Arrhenius & Krister Bykvist - manuscript
    The long sweep of human history has involved a continuing interaction between peoples' efforts to improve their well-being and the environment's stability to sustain those efforts. Throughout most of that history, the interactions between human development and the environment have been relatively simple and local affairs. But the complexity and scale of those interactions are increasing. What were once local incidents of pollution shared throughout a common watershed or air basin now involve multile nations - witness the concerns for acid (...)
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  27. Comments on Dennis McKerlie's 'rational choice, changes in values over time, and well-being'.Krister Bykvist - 2007 - Utilitas 19 (1):73-77.
    I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to comment on McKerlie's interesting article, especially since it concerns one of my pet topics and provides many helpful comments on one of my own articles on this topic. My comments will be brief because I agree with most of his points, in particular, his criticisms of the prudential view and the present-aim theory. What I want to do here is just to clarify a couple of things concerning my own theory, (...)
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  28.  58
    Matti Eklund, Choosing Normative Concepts.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):343-347.
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  29.  77
    What are desires good for? Towards a coherent endorsement theory.Krister Bykvist - 2006 - Ratio 19 (3):286–304.
    Desire-based theories of well-being are often said to accept (G), x is good for a person just in case he wants it, and (B), x is better for a person than y just in case he prefers x to y. I shall argue that (G) and (B) are inconsistent, and this inconsistency resists any plausible refinement of these principles. The inconsistency is brought out by cases in which our wants and preferences for certain life-options are contingent on which life-option we (...)
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  30. Evaluative Uncertainty, Environmental Ethics, and Consequentialism.Krister Bykvist - 2014 - In Avram Hiller, Ramona Ilea & Leonard Kahn (eds.), Consequentialism and Environmental Ethics. pp. 122-135.
  31.  24
    Paul’s Reconfiguration of Decision-Problems in the Light of Transformative Experiences.Krister Bykvist - 2019 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 10 (3):346-356.
    : This paper focuses on cases of epistemically transformative experiences, as Paul calls them, cases where we have radically different experiences that teach us something we would not have learned otherwise. Paul raises the new and rather intriguing question of whether epistemic transformative experiences pose a general problem for the very possibility of rational decision-making. It is argued that there is an important grain of truth in Paul’s set up and solution when it is applied to a certain narrowly defined (...)
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  32.  6
    Can we compare health states when our standards change?Krister Bykvist - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    Among health economists, who think that preferences are the correct standard of the value of health states, it is common to assume, at least implicitly, that the correct criterion of this value takes the following schematic form: H1 is a better health state than H2 iff the members of group S prefer (on average) being in H1 to being in H2. Various candidates for members of S have been proposed, including medical experts, the general public, H1-patients, H2-patients, former H1-patients, former (...)
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  33.  52
    Wellbeing and Changing Attitudes Across Time.Krister Bykvist - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    The fact that our attitudes change poses well-known challenges for attitude-sensitive wellbeing theories. Suppose that in the past you favoured your adventurous youthful life more than the quiet and unassuming life you expected to live as an old person; now when you look back you favour your current life more than your youthful past life. Which period of your life is better for you? More generally, how can we find a stable attitude-sensitive standard of wellbeing, if the standard is in (...)
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  34. What Matters in Metaethics.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):341-349.
    In the first two volumes of On What Matters,1 Derek Parfit pursued a conciliatory project in normative ethics, which sought to dissolve the disagreement between the most plausible versions of Kantianism, contractualism and rule consequentialism. Parfit was less conciliatory in his meta-ethics, however. Does Parfit’s conciliatory project in metaethics succeed? We shall begin to address this question in the next section by, first, trying to get a grip on Parfit’s position, which now goes by the name ‘non-realist cognitivism’, and, second, (...)
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  35.  39
    Cullity's system‐building.Krister Bykvist - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):495-501.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 104, Issue 2, Page 495-501, March 2022.
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  36.  13
    Brentano's Fallacy: Moore's Arguments Against Brentano's Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value.Krister Bykvist - 2021 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 38 (3):243-259.
    According to the popular fitting attitude analysis of value, to be good is to be the object of a proattitude that it is fitting, in some sense, to have. One version of this analysis can be traced back to Franz Brentano, according to which “good” means “worthy of love.” In a review in Ethics of Brentano's The Origin of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, G. E. Moore accuses Brentano of committing a fallacious inference, which I will call “Brentano's fallacy.” (...)
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  37.  40
    Choosing for Changing Selves, by Richard Pettigrew.Krister Bykvist - forthcoming - Mind.
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  38.  49
    Matti Eklund, Choosing Normative Concepts , ix + 219 pp.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):343-347.
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  39.  63
    Weighing Reasons By Errol Lord and Barry Maguire.Krister Bykvist - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):191-191.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected]: 27 June 2017The above book review incorrectly gave the first author’s name as ‘Errold Lord’. This has now been corrected to ‘Errol Lord’.
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  40.  6
    Time and Morality.Krister Bykvist - 2013 - In Heather Dyke & Adrian Bardon (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 549–562.
    Time is morally relevant. This chapter considers three temporal features that could be assigned moral significance when one assesses actions, activities, character‐traits, and events: life periods, temporal order, and tense. It seems plausible to assign significance to life periods when one assesses character traits – innocence is a virtue for children but not for adults, for example. It is also clear that the temporal order between events can have moral significance when one assesses the overall value of the sequence of (...)
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  41.  52
    A distinction in value: Intrinsic and for its own sake1.Krister Bykvist, Garrett Cullity, Åsa Carlson, Johan Brännmark, Klemens Kappel, Ulrik Kihlbom, Ian Law, Hans Mathlein, Derek Parfit & Ingmar Persson - 2005 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), Recent Work on Intrinsic Value. Springer. pp. 115.
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  42. and Intergenerational Justice.Krister Bykvist - 2009 - In Gosseries Axel & Meyers L. (eds.), Intergenerational Justice. Oxford University Press. pp. 301.
  43. All Time Preferences?Krister Bykvist - 1999 - Theoria 65 (1):36-54.
  44.  6
    Comments on Broome’s ‘Rationality versus Normativity’.Krister Bykvist - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (4):353-360.
    ABSTRACT Broome’s target in his paper is the popular claim that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons. He takes this to be the reductive claim that rationality reduces to responding correctly to reasons, which in turn he takes to entail that the property of rationality is identical to the property of responding correctly to reasons. It is this identity claim that Broome attempts to refute by showing that the properties that are supposed to be identical cannot be so because (...)
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  45.  8
    Comments on Rozas.Krister Bykvist - 2021 - Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 2:63-65.
    This is a commentary to Mat Rozas "Two asymmetries in population and general normative ethics".
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  46.  5
    How to Handle Trade-Offs in Pandemics.Krister Bykvist - 2021 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 14 (1).
    Pandemics and other similar crises force us to make difficult moral trade-offs. It is tempting to think that this challenge should be met by invoking fundamental moral principles. This is a mistake. Instead, we need to work hard at designing institutions that enable the officeholders to make reasonable decisions under both fundamental ethical disagreement and empirical/evaluative uncertainty. It is argued that this is best done by supplementing the ethical-cum-legal platforms already in use with an ethical framework inspired by social welfare (...)
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  47.  78
    John Broome, Weighing Lives (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004), pp. 286.Krister Bykvist - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (4):497-500.
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  48.  33
    McKerlie, Dennis. Justice between the Young and the Old.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 223. $69.00.Krister Bykvist - 2015 - Ethics 125 (3):895-900.
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  49. Om moraliska övertygelsers styrka och emotivismens svaghet.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2010 - Filosofisk Tidskrift 4.
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  50. Preference Formation and Intergenerational Justice.Krister Bykvist - 2009 - In Axel Gosseries & Lukas H. Meyer (eds.), Intergenerational Justice. Oxford University Press.
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