Roberts on Depletion: How Much Better Can We Do for Future People?

Utilitas 28 (1):108-118 (2016)
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Suppose that Depletion will reduce the well-being of future people. Many of us would like to say that Depletion is wrong because of the harm to future people. However, it can easily be made to seem that Depletion is actually harmless – this is the non-identity problem. I discuss a particularly ingenious attempt by Melinda Roberts to attribute a harm to Depletion. I will argue that the magnitude of Roberts's harm is off target by many orders of magnitude: it is just too tiny to explain the intuitive wrong of Depletion



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Mark Edward Greene
University of Delaware

Citations of this work

The nonidentity problem.Melinda Roberts - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The paradox of future individuals.Gregory S. Kavka - 1982 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (2):93-112.
Harm to the unconceived.Michael D. Bayles - 1976 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (3):292-304.

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