David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 137 (1):3 - 18 (2008)
Philosophers concerned with procreative ethics have long been puzzled by Parfit’s Non-Identity Problem (NIP). Various solutions have been proposed, but I argue that we have not solved the problem on its own narrow person-affecting terms, i.e., in terms of the identified individuals affected by procreative decisions and acts, especially future children. Thus, the core problem remains unsolved. This is a nagging concern for all who hold the common intuition that actions that harm no one are permissible. I argue against Harmon’s and Woodward’s direct, narrow person-affecting solutions, and in favor of a new solution to the NIP. My solution, or, rather, dissolution, is based on the argument that merely possible people, i.e., hypothetical people who could possibly, but will not actually, exist, are morally irrelevant. I show that the NIP only arises when we concern ourselves with merely possible people. Once we are careful to restrict our concerns to only those that do or will exist, the NIP is dissolved.
|Keywords||Non-identity Non-Identity Problem Procreation Reproduction Future people Children Parfit|
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References found in this work BETA
Dan W. Brock (1995). The Non-Identity Problem and Genetic Harms – the Case of Wrongful Handicaps. Bioethics 9 (3):269–275.
Allen E. Buchanan, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels & Daniel Wikler (2000). From Chance to Choice. Cambridge University Press.
Joel Feinberg (1986). Wrongful Life and the Counterfactual Element in Harming. Social Philosophy and Policy 4 (01):145-.
Matthew Hanser (1990). Harming Future People. Philosophy and Public Affairs 19 (1):47-70.
Caspar Hare (2007). Voices From Another World: Must We Respect the Interests of People Who Do Not, and Will Never, Exist? Ethics 117 (3):498-523.
Citations of this work BETA
Elizabeth Cripps (2011). Climate Change, Collective Harm and Legitimate Coercion. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (2):171-193.
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