In defence of repugnance

Mind 117 (468):899-933 (2008)

Authors
Michael Huemer
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
I defend the 'Repugnant' Conclusion that for any possible population of happy people, a population containing a sufficient number of people with lives barely worth living would be better. Four lines of argument converge on this conclusion, and the conclusion has a simple, natural theoretical explanation. The opposition to the Repugnant Conclusion rests on a bare appeal to intuition. This intuition is open to charges of being influenced by multiple distorting factors. Several theories of population ethics have been devised to avoid the Repugnant Conclusion, but each generates even more counterintuitive consequences. The intuition opposing the Repugnant Conclusion is thus among the best candidates for an intuition that should be revised
Keywords Repugnant Conclusion
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzn079
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong.J. L. Mackie - 1977 - Erkenntnis 18 (3):425-430.
Moral Skepticisms.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Revisionary Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2008 - Social Philosophy and Policy 25 (1):368-392.
Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong.J. L. Mackie - 1977 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 43 (3):581-582.

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Citations of this work BETA

An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):309-343.
Population Axiology.Hilary Greaves - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12442.
Spectrum Arguments and Hypersensitivity.Theron Pummer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1729-1744.
A Good Exit: What to Do About the End of Our Species?Toby Handfield - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):272-297.

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