Killing and the Time-relative Interest Account

Journal of Ethics 15 (3):169-189 (2011)
Abstract
Jeff McMahan appeals to what he calls the “Time-relative Interest Account of the Wrongness of Killing ” to explain the wrongness of killing individuals who are conscious but not autonomous. On this account, the wrongness of such killing depends on the victim’s interest in his or her future, and this interest, in turn, depends on two things: the goods that would have accrued to the victim in the future; and the strength of the prudential relations obtaining between the victim at the time of the killing and at the times these goods would have accrued to him or her. More precisely, when assessing this interest, future goods should be discounted to reflect reductions in the strength of such relations. Against McMahan’s account I argue that it relies on an implausible “actualist” view of the moral importance of interests according to which satisfactions of future interests only have moral significance if they are satisfactions of actual interests. More precisely, I aim to show that the Time-relative Interest Account does not have the implications for the morality of killing that McMahan takes it to have, and implies, implausibly, that certain interest satisfactions which seem to be morally significant are morally insignificant because they are not satisfactions of actual interests
Keywords Abortion  Jeff McMahan  Killing  Time-relative interest account
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10892-010-9087-6
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,781
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-135.
Problems of the Self.Bernard A. O. Williams - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Worst Time to Die.Ben Bradley - 2008 - Ethics 118 (2):291-314.
Self-Defence and the Principle of Non-Combatant Immunity.Helen Frowe - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):530-546.
Persons, Interests, and Justice.Nils Holtug - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Killing and Dying.Dan Moller - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (3):235-247.
Killing Humans and Killing Animals.Peter Singer - 1979 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-4):145 – 156.
Killing, Wrongness, and Equality.Carlos Soto - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):543-559.
Time-Relative Interests and Abortion.S. Matthew Liao - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (2):242-256.
Abortion, Time-Relative Interests, and Futures Like Ours.Peter Nichols - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):493-506.
Added to PP index
2010-07-26

Total downloads
64 ( #85,157 of 2,199,496 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #97,307 of 2,199,496 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature