The Reverse Repugnant Conclusion

Utilitas 14 (03):360- (2002)
Total utilitarianism implies Parfit's repugnant conclusion. For any world (A) containing ten billion very happy people, there is a better world (Z) where a vast number of people have lives barely worth living. One common response is to claim that life in Parfit's Z is better than he suggests, and thus that his conclusion is not repugnant. This paper shows that this strategy cannot succeeed. Total utilitarianism also implies a reverse repugnant conclusion. For any world (A-minus) where ten billion people have lives of excruciating agony, there is a worse world (Z-minus) where a vast number of people have lives almost worth living. This reverse repugnant conclusion is at least as repugnant as Parfit's original. If we avoid the latter by raising the zero level, then the former becomes more repugnant. We cannot save total utilitarianism by tinkering with the zero level
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0953820800003654
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Jesper Ryberg, Torbjörn Tännsjö & Gustaf Arrhenius (2006). The Repugnant Conclusion. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Online; Last Accessed October 4:2006.
Jesper Ryberg, The Repugnant Conclusion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #153,723 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.