Utility, Priority and Possible People

Utilitas 11 (01):16- (1999)
This paper discusses what the so-called Priority View implies regarding possible people. It is argued that this view is plausible when applied to fixed populations, but that, when applied to the issue of possible people, it faces certain difficulties. If it is claimed that possible people fall within the scope of the Priority View, we are led to the repugnant conclusion (and other counter-intuitive conclusions) at a faster pace than we are by, e.g., utilitarianism. And if it is claimed that possible people do not fall within the scope of the Priority View, we shall have to combine this view with a different view in order to avoid certain counter-intuitive judgements. Such a combined view, however, leads to intransitivities. At the end of the paper, I discuss what these conclusions imply regarding both the Priority View and our moral obligations to possible people
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    Matthew Rendall (2013). Priority and Desert. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):939-951.
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