David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 51 (1):123 - 137 (1987)
Thomas Hurka has recently proposed a utilitarian theory which would effect a compromise between Average and Total utilitarianism, the better to deal with issues in population ethics. This Compromise theory would incorporate the principle that the value which an extra happy person contributes to a possible world is a decreasing function of the total population of that world: that happy people are of diminishing marginal value. In spite of its initial plausibility I argue against this principle. I show that the Compromise theory is actually no improvement over the two original versions of utilitarianism; in particular, it is subject to almost all the objections which are fatal to Average utilitarianism, and more besides. And I attempt to dispell the appearance that intuition supports the Compromise theory as against Total utilitarianism, by arguing that the latter's Repugnant Conclusion, when properly understood, is not intuitively unacceptable. Total utilitarianism remains a plausible ethical theory, while both the Average and the Compromise theories should be definitely rejected.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Huemer (2008). In Defence of Repugnance. Mind 117 (468):899-933.
Theodore Sider (1991). Might Theory X Be a Theory of Diminishing Marginal Value? Analysis 51 (4):265 - 271.
Thomas L. Carson (1983). Utilitarianism and the Wrongness of Killing. Erkenntnis 20 (1):49 - 60.
Stuart Rachels (1998). Chapter 4: Is It Good to Make Happy People? In Hedonic Value. Syracuse University.
Douglas W. Portmore (1999). Does the Total Principle Have Any Repugnant Implications? Ratio 12 (1):80–98.
Gustaf Arrhenius (2008). Life Extension Versus Replacement. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):211-227.
Josh Parsons (2002). Axiological Actualism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):137 – 147.
Peter Vallentyne (1995). Taking Justice Too Seriously. Utilitas 7 (2):207-216.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #108,412 of 1,410,167 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,015 of 1,410,167 )
How can I increase my downloads?