David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Issues 19 (1):389-411 (2009)
In “Weighing Lives” (2004) John Broome criticizes a view common to many population axiologists. On that view, population increases with extra people leading decent lives are axiologically neutral: they make the world neither better nor worse, ceteris paribus. Broome argues that this intuition, however, attractive, cannot be sustained, for several independent reasons. I respond to his criticisms and suggest that the neutrality intuition, if correctly interpreted, can after all be defended.On the version I defend,the world with added extra people at wellbeing levels within the neutrality range is incommensurable in value with the world in which these peaople are absent.
|Keywords||neutrality intuition population ethics incommensurability mere addition paradox Broome, John Value relations utilitarianism critical level utilitarianism|
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