The Defective Character Solution to the Non-Identity Problem

Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)

Authors
Ben Bramble
Australian National University
Abstract
(*Available on request*. Just email me to receive a copy.) The non-identity problem is that some actions seem morally wrong even though, by affecting future people’s identities, they are worse for nobody. In this paper, I further develop and defend a lesser known solution to the problem, one according to which when such actions are wrong, it is not because of what they do or produce, but rather just because of why they were performed. In particular, I argue that the actions in non-identity cases are wrong just when and because they result from, or reflect in those who have performed them, a morally dubious character trait.
Keywords Non-identity problem  Population ethics
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