Climate Change and the Intuition of Neutrality

In Marcello Di Paola & Gianfranco Pellegrino (eds.), Canned Heat. Ethics and Politics of Global Climate Change. Routledge. pp. 160-176 (2014)

Abstract

The intuition of neutrality, as discussed by John Broome, says that the addition of people does not, by itself, produce or subtract value from the world. Such intuition allows us to disregard the effects of climate change policy onto the size of populations, effectively allowing us to make policy recommendations. Broome has argued that the intuition has to go. Orsi responds by urging a normative (rather than Broome's axiological) interpretation of neutrality in terms of an exclusionary permission to disregard the value of adding lives. He explores justifications and limits of such permission by referring to the prospect of human extinction.

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