Infinity in ethics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy ()
Puzzles can arise in ethical theory (as well as decision theory) when infinity is involved. The puzzles arise primarily in theories—such as consequentialist theories—that appeal to the value of actions or states of affairs. Section 1 addresses the question of whether one source of value (such as major aesthetic pleasures) can be infinitely more valuable than another (such as minor gustatory pleasures). An affirmative answer is given by appealing to the notion of lexicographic priority. Section 2 address the question of what morality requires when there are an infinite number of feasible options and no option is maximally valuable? In such cases, it is suggested, morality can demand no more than that we “almost maximize” or (more weakly) that we “satisfice”. Section 3 addresses a puzzle that can arise when time is infinitely long. Is a state of affairs with two units of value at each time more valuable than a state of affairs with one unit at each time (even though both produce infinite amounts of value)? A plausible principle is introduced that answers affirmatively, but it faces certain problems. Section 4 addresses a puzzle that can arise when time is finite but infinitely divisible.
|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
Peter Vallentyne (2000). Standard Decision Theory Corrected: Assessing Options When Probability is Infinitely and Uniformly Spread. Synthese 122 (3):261-290.
Peter Vallentyne & Shelly Kagan (1997). Infinite Value and Finitely Additive Value Theory. Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):5-26.
Daniel A. Dombrowski (2007). Oppy, Infinity, and the Neoclassical Concept of God. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 61 (1):25 - 37.
Peter Fletcher (2002). A Constructivist Perspective on Physics. Philosophia Mathematica 10 (1):26-42.
Graham Robert Oppy (2006). Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Vallentyne (2009). Infinite Utility and Temporal Neutrality. Utilitas 6 (02):193-.
Brad Weslake (2006). Time. In Martin Cohen (ed.), Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics. Hodder Arnold.
James Franklin (1994). Achievements and Fallacies in Hume's Account of Infinite Divisibility. Hume Studies 20 (1):85-101.
Richard Schlegel (1965). The Problem of Infinite Matter in Steady-State Cosmology. Philosophy of Science 32 (1):21-31.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #173,609 of 1,102,469 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #298,715 of 1,102,469 )
How can I increase my downloads?