David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):5-26 (1997)
000000001. Introduction Call a theory of the good—be it moral or prudential—aggregative just in case (1) it recognizes local (or location-relative) goodness, and (2) the goodness of states of affairs is based on some aggregation of local goodness. The locations for local goodness might be points or regions in time, space, or space-time; or they might be people, or states of nature.1 Any method of aggregation is allowed: totaling, averaging, measuring the equality of the distribution, measuring the minimum, etc.. Call a theory of the good finitely additive just in case it is aggregative, and for any finite set of locations it aggregates by adding together the goodness at those locations. Standard versions of total utilitarianism typically invoke finitely additive value theories (with people as locations). A puzzle can arise when finitely additive value theories are applied to cases involving an infinite number of locations (people, times, etc.). Suppose, for example, that temporal locations are the locus of value, and that time is discrete, and has no beginning or end.2 How would a finitely additive theory (e.g., a temporal version of total utilitarianism) judge the following two worlds? Goodness at Locations (e.g. times) w1:..., 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, ..... w2:..., 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ..... Example 1 At each time w1 contains 2 units of goodness and w2 contains only 1. Intuitively, we claim, if the locations are the same in each world, finitely additive theorists will want to claim that w1 is better than w2. But it's not clear how they could coherently hold this view. For using standard mathematics the sum of each is the same infinity, and so there seems to be no basis for claiming that one is better than the other.3 (Appealing to Cantorian infinities is of no help here, since for any Cantorian infinite N, 2xN=1xN.)
|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
Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2015). Utility Monsters for the Fission Age. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):392-407.
Paul Bartha (2007). Taking Stock of Infinite Value: Pascal's Wager and Relative Utilities. Synthese 154 (1):5 - 52.
Frank Arntzenius (2014). Utilitarianism, Decision Theory and Eternity. Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):31-58.
Roy Sorensen (2005). The Cheated God: Death and Personal Time. Analysis 65 (286):119–125.
Stephen Kershnar (2004). Why Equal Opportunity is Not a Valuable Goal. Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2):159–172.
Similar books and articles
Mohamed A. Amer (1985). Extension of Relatively |Sigma-Additive Probabilities on Boolean Algebras of Logic. Journal of Symbolic Logic 50 (3):589 - 596.
John Hawthorne & Theodore Sider (2002). Locations. Philosophical Topics 30 (1):53-76.
Daniele Mundici (1995). Averaging the Truth-Value in Łukasiewicz Logic. Studia Logica 55 (1):113 - 127.
Piers Rawling (1997). Perspectives on a Pair of Envelopes. Theory and Decision 43 (3):253-277.
Chunlai Zhou (2010). Probability Logic of Finitely Additive Beliefs. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 19 (3):247-282.
Peter Vallentyne (2004). Infinite Utilitarianism: More Is Always Better. Economics and Philosophy 20 (2):307-330.
Luc Lauwers & Peter Vallentyne (2004). Infinite Utilitarianism: More is Always Better. Economics and Philosophy 20 (2):307-330.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads245 ( #11,447 of 1,948,518 )
Recent downloads (6 months)26 ( #19,068 of 1,948,518 )
How can I increase my downloads?