Utilitas (forthcoming)

Erik Carlson
Uppsala Universitet
Jens Johansson
Uppsala University
In a discussion of Parfit's Drops of Water case, Zach Barnett has recently proposed a novel argument against “No Small Improvement”; that is, the claim that a single drop of water cannot affect the magnitude of a thirsty person's suffering. We first show that Barnett's argument can be significantly strengthened, and also that the fundamental idea behind it yields a straightforward argument for the transitivity of equal suffering. We then suggest that defenders of No Small Improvement could reject a Pareto principle that is presupposed in Barnett's argument and our developments of it. However, this does not save No Small Improvement, since there is a convincing argument against this claim that does not presuppose the Pareto principle.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,703
External links

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

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Do I Make a Difference?Shelly Kagan - 2011 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (2):105-141.
It's Not My Fault: Global Warming and Individual Moral Obligations.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2005 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Richard Howarth (eds.), Perspectives on Climate Change. Elsevier. pp. 221–253.
How You Can Help, Without Making a Difference.Julia Nefsky - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2743-2767.
Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives.Alastair Norcross - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (2):135-167.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What the Łukasiewicz Axioms Mean.Daniele Mundici - 2020 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 85 (3):906-917.
Tiny Models of Categorical Theories.M. C. Laskowski, A. Pillay & P. Rothmaler - 1992 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 31 (6):385-396.
On the Significance of Some Intuitions About the Mind.David Barnett - 2010 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism. Oxford University Press.
Practicable Socialism.Samuel Barnett & Henrietta Barnett - 1895 - International Journal of Ethics 5 (4):530-531.
Practicable Socialism.Samuel Barnett, Henrietta Barnett.M. S. Gilliland - 1895 - International Journal of Ethics 5 (4):530-531.
The Parallel Versus Branching Recurrences in Computability Logic.Wenyan Xu & Sanyang Liu - 2013 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 54 (1):61-78.
Consciousness and Topology.Eugene Mills - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Research 45:189-195.
Against Originalism: Getting Over the U. S. Constitution.Austin W. Bramwell - 2004 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 16 (4):431-453.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #622,264 of 2,462,532 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #45,620 of 2,462,532 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes