David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Utilitas 7 (2):189-206 (1995)
In Chapter 17 of his magnificent Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit asks what he describes as an ‘awesome question’: ‘How many people should there ever be?’ For a utilitarian like me, the answer seems simple: there should be however many people it takes to make the world best. Unfortunately, if I answer Parfit's awesome question in this way, I may sink myself in a quagmire of axiological confusion. In this paper, I first describe certain aspects of the quagmire. Then I introduce and explain some of the elements of a novel axiological view – ‘justicism’. Justicism is derived from some ideas originally suggested by Franz Brentano. It was developed in an effort to solve certain other problems confronting utilitarianism – problems explicitly about justice. I think, however, that as a sort of happy by-product, justicism also generates a plausible answer to Parfit's awesome question. This may come as a bit of surprise, since justicism is a form of totalism, and it is widely thought that no totalistic theory can provide a satisfactory answer to Parfit's question. After presenting and explaining my proposed solution, I address some objections.
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Justin Klocksiem (2016). How to Accept the Transitivity of Better Than. Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1309-1334.
Clark Wolf (1996). Social Choice and Normative Population Theory: A Person Affecting Solution to Parfit's Mere Addition Paradox. Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):263 - 282.
Kalle Grill (forthcoming). Asymmetric Population Axiology: Deliberative Neutrality Delivered. Philosophical Studies:1-18.
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