Rethinking the Asymmetry

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2):167-177 (2017)
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Abstract

According to the Asymmetry, we’ve strong moral reason to prevent miserable lives from coming into existence, but no moral reason to bring happy lives into existence. This procreative asymmetry is often thought to be part of commonsense morality, however theoretically puzzling it might prove to be. I argue that this is a mistake. The Asymmetry is merely prima facie intuitive, and loses its appeal on further reflection. Mature commonsense morality recognizes no fundamental procreative asymmetry. It may recognize some superficially similar theses, but we will see that they derive from more familiar principles, and are compatible with there being moral reason to bring happy lives into existence.

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Author's Profile

Richard Y. Chappell
University of Miami

References found in this work

Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Equality and Priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (216):267-268.
Practical Ethics.John Martin Fischer - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):264.

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