Utilitas (forthcoming)

Authors
Erik Carlson
Uppsala Universitet
Jens Johansson
Uppsala University
Abstract
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.
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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.

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