The Indeterminacy of Loss

Ethics 118 (4):633-658 (2008)

Mark Edward Greene
University of Delaware
Abstract: This paper argues that continua of both genetic and environmental manipulation give rise to cases in which it is indeterminate whether the non-identity problem arises. In clear non-identity cases, impersonal principles can underwrite intuitions of wrongdoing. In clear cases of ordinary personal harm, ordinary ethical thinking about personal compensation augments or supersedes impersonal considerations. Indeterminate cases raise a special problem because it is indeterminate whether personal ethical considerations apply. Might indeterminacy of identity preclude a determinate and ethically justified resolution of personal compensation claims? A way is suggested in which to continue ethically substantive discussion despite indeterminacy.
Keywords non-identity  compensation  non-existence  indeterminacy  harm  loss  disability  genetics  environment  identity
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DOI 10.1086/589530
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