David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford University Press (2004)
We are often faced with choices that involve the weighing of people's lives against each other, or the weighing of lives against other good things. These are choices both for individuals and for societies. A person who is terminally ill may have to choose between palliative care and more aggressive treatment, which will give her a longer life but at some cost in suffering. We have to choose between the convenience to ourselves of road and air travel, and the lives of the future people who will be killed by the global warming we cause, through violent weather, tropical disease, and heat waves. We also make choices that affect how many lives there will be in the future: as individuals we choose how many children to have, and societies choose tax policies that influence people's choices about having children. These are all problems of weighing lives. How should we weigh lives? Weighing Lives develops a theoretical basis for answering this practical question. It extends the work and methods of Broome's earlier book Weighing Goods to cover the questions of life and death. Difficult problems come up in the process. In particular, Weighing Lives tackles the well-recognized, awkward problems of the ethics of population. It carefully examines the common intuition that adding people to the population is ethically neutral - neither a good nor a bad thing - but eventually concludes this intuition cannot be fitted into a coherent theory of value. In the course of its argument, Weighing Lives examines many of the issues of contemporary moral theory: the nature of consequentialism and teleology; the transitivity, continuity, and vagueness of betterness; the quantitative conception of wellbeing; the notion of a life worth living; the badness of death; and others. This is a work of philosophy, but one of its distinctive features is that it adopts some of the precise methods of economic theory (without introducing complex mathematics). Not only philosophers, but also economists and political theorists concerned with the practical question of valuing life, should find the book's conclusions highly significant to their work.
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$31.68 new (21% off) $36.00 direct from Amazon (10% off) $40.00 used Amazon page|
|Call number||BJ1012.B72 2004|
|ISBN(s)||0199297703 019924376X 9780199243761|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Cristian Constantinescu (2012). Value Incomparability and Indeterminacy. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):57-70.
Krister Bykvist (2007). The Benefits of Coming Into Existence. Philosophical Studies 135 (3):335 - 362.
Wlodek Rabinowicz (2009). Incommensurability and Vagueness. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):71-94.
José Luis Bermúdez (2010). Pitfalls for Realistic Decision Theory: An Illustration From Sequential Choice. Synthese 176 (1):23 - 40.
Krister Bykvist (2010). Can Unstable Preferences Provide a Stable Standard of Well-Being? Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):1-26.
Similar books and articles
Tim Mulgan (2008). Review: Weighing Lives. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):363 - 368.
Richard Bradley (2007). Impartiality in Weighing Lives. Philosophical Books 48 (4):292-302.
Tim Mulgan (2008). Weighing Lives. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):363–368.
J. Ross (2007). Weighing Lives. Philosophical Review 116 (4):663-666.
D. M. Hausman (2005). Review: Weighing Lives. [REVIEW] Mind 114 (455):718-722.
Nils Holtug (2006). Book Review: Weighing Lives. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (1):115-118.
Christopher Belshaw (2003). More Lives, Better Lives. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (2):127-141.
Peter Vallentyne (2009). Broome on Moral Goodness and Population Ethics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (3):739 - 746.
Wlodek Rabinowicz (2009). Broome and the Intuition of Neutrality. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):389-411.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads33 ( #49,619 of 1,096,443 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #231,754 of 1,096,443 )
How can I increase my downloads?