David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):283 (1998)
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 Ng. I shall argue that one horn of this trilemma is less unattractive than Parfit and others have claimed. The second trilemma, which is a kind of mirror image of the first, appears hitherto to have gone unnoticed. Apart from attempting to resolve the two trilemmas, I shall suggest certain features which I believe a plausible welfarist axiology should possess. The details of this projected axiology will, however, be left open
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References found in this work BETA
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
G. E. Moore (1903/2004). Principia Ethica. Dover Publications.
Roderick M. Chisholm (1986). Brentano and Intrinsic Value. Cambridge University Press.
George Edward Moore (1942). A Reply to My Critics. In Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of G. E. Moore. Open Court
Citations of this work BETA
NG Yew-Kwang (2005). Intergenerational Impartiality: Replacing Discounting by Probability Weighting. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):237-257.
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