Population Ethics and Different‐Number‐Based Imprecision

Theoria 82 (2):166-181 (2016)
Authors
Gustaf Arrhenius
Stockholm University
Abstract
Recently, in his Rolf Schock Prize Lecture, Derek Parfit has suggested a novel way of avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion by introducing what he calls “imprecision” in value comparisons. He suggests that in a range of important cases, populations of different sizes are only imprecisely comparable. Parfit suggests that this feature of value comparisons opens up a way of avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion without implying other counterintuitive conclusions, and thus solves one of the major challenges in ethics. In this article, I try to clarify Parfit's proposal and evaluate whether it will help us with the paradoxes in population ethics.
Keywords imprecision  population paradoxes  Repugnant Conclusion  Different‐Number‐Based Imprecision  Derek Parfit  impossibility theorems  population ethics
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DOI 10.1111/theo.12094
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