David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Aggregative consequentialism and several other popular moral theories are threatened with paralysis: when coupled with some plausible assumptions, they seem to imply that it is always ethically indifferent what you do. Modern cosmology teaches that the world might well contain an infinite number of happy and sad people and other candidate value-bearing locations. Aggregative ethics implies that such a world contains an infinite amount of positive value and an infinite amount of negative value. You can affect only a finite amount of good or bad. In standard cardinal arithmetic, an infinite quantity is unchanged by the addition or subtraction of any finite quantity. So it appears you cannot change the value of the world. Modifications of aggregationism aimed at resolving the paralysis are only partially effective and cause severe side effects, including problems of “fanaticism”, “distortion”, and erosion of the intuitions that originally motivated the theory. Is the infinitarian challenge fatal?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Yaroslav D. Sergeyev (2008). A New Applied Approach for Executing Computations with Infinite and Infinitesimal Quantities. Informatica 19 (4):567-596.
Jeremy Gwiazda (2012). On Infinite Number and Distance. Constructivist Foundations 7 (2):126-130.
Robert R. Williams (2010). Hegel's True Infinity As Panentheism. The Owl of Minerva 42 (1-2):137-152.
Philip Ehrlich (1982). Negative, Infinite, and Hotter Than Infinite Temperatures. Synthese 50 (2):233 - 277.
Peter Vallentyne (2009). Infinite Utility and Temporal Neutrality. Utilitas 6 (02):193-.
Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward (1986). What is an Infinite Expression? Philosophia 16 (1):45-60.
Peter Vallentyne & Shelly Kagan (1997). Infinite Value and Finitely Additive Value Theory. Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):5-26.
E. Herrman (2001). Infinite Chains and Antichains in Computable Partial Orderings. Journal of Symbolic Logic 66 (2):923-934.
Richard Schlegel (1965). The Problem of Infinite Matter in Steady-State Cosmology. Philosophy of Science 32 (1):21-31.
Richard Heck (1998). The Finite and the Infinite in Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik. In M. Schirn (ed.), Philosophy of Mathematics Today. OUP.
Peter Vallentyne (1993). Utilitarianism and Infinite Utility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (2):212 – 217.
Added to index2012-03-18
Total downloads30 ( #49,032 of 1,088,392 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,392 )
How can I increase my downloads?