Graduate studies at Western
Theoria 77 (4):333-367 (2011)
|Abstract||The Asymmetry consists of two claims. (A) That a possible person's life would be abjectly miserable –less than worth living – counts against bringing that person into existence. But (B) that a distinct possible person's life would be worth living or even well worth living does not count in favour of bringing that person into existence. In recent years, the view that the two halves of the Asymmetry are jointly untenable has become increasingly entrenched. If we say all persons matter morally whether they exist or not and on that basis try to explain the first half of the Asymmetry, we lose the second half of the Asymmetry. If we say that some persons do not matter morally and some do and on that basis try to explain the second half of the Asymmetry, we lose the first half of the Asymmetry – or else find ourselves with a principle that is either inconsistent or otherwise deeply troubled in some way that has nothing to do with the content of the Asymmetry itself. In this article, I propose an alternative approach to the Asymmetry which I will call Variabilism. By understanding each and every person, whether existing or not, to matter morally but variably– such that the moral significance of any loss incurred by any person is considered to depend, not on who incurs that loss and whether that person matters morally, but rather on where that loss is incurred in relation to the person who incurs it – we can both nicely ground the two halves of the Asymmetry and avoid the conceptual difficulties that have plagued competing approaches|
|Keywords||Moral Actualism Prior Existence View loss or harm the Asymmetry procreative choice value of nonexistence Totalism Neutrality Intuition|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Paul Davies (2005). Asymmetry and Transcendence: On Scepticism and First Philosophy. Research in Phenomenology 35 (1):118-140.
Theodore Sider (1993). Asymmetry and Self-Sacrifice. Philosophical Studies 70 (2):117 - 132.
John F. Post (1999). Is Supervenience Asymmetric? Manuscrito 22 (2):305-344.
Katherine J. Morris (1996). Pain, Injury, and First/Third-Person Asymmetry. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):125-56.
Phil Dowe (1992). Process Causality and Asymmetry. Erkenntnis 37 (2):179-196.
Adam Elga (2001). Statistical Mechanics and the Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence. Philosophy of Science 68 (S1):S313-.
John F. Post (2000). Is Supervenience Asymmetric? In [Book Chapter] (in Press).
Jill North (2003). Understanding the Time-Asymmetry of Radiation. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1086-1097.
T. V. Barchunova (2003). The Selfish Gender, or the Reproduction of Gender Asymmetry in Gender Studies. Studies in East European Thought 55 (1):3-25.
Christopher Suhler & Craig Callender (2012). Thank Goodness That Argument Is Over: Explaining the Temporal Value Asymmetry. Philosophers' Imprint 12 (15):1-16.
John N. Williams (2013). The Completeness of the Pragmatic Solution to Moore's Paradox in Belief: A Reply to Chan. Synthese 190 (12):2457-2476.
Silvia Stoller & tr Nielsen, Camilla (2005). Asymmetrical Genders: Phenomenological Reflections on Sexual Difference. Hypatia 20 (2):7-26.
Jeff McMahan (2013). Causing People to Exist and Saving People's Lives. Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):5-35.
Clay Splawn (2001). “The Self-Other Asymmetry and Act Utilitarianism.”. Utilitas 13 (3):323-333.
Added to index2011-10-12
Total downloads13 ( #95,639 of 739,404 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,680 of 739,404 )
How can I increase my downloads?