In Espen Gamlund and Carl Tollef Solberg (ed.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 215-228 (2019)

Authors
Theron Pummer
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
Most believe that it is worse for a person to die than to continue to exist with a good life. At the same time, many believe that it is not worse for a merely possible person never to exist than to exist with a good life. I argue that if the underlying properties that make us the sort of thing we essentially are can come in small degrees, then to maintain this commonly-held pair of beliefs we will have to embrace an implausible sort of evaluative hypersensitivity to slight nonevaluative differences. Avoidance of such hypersensitivity pressures us to accept that it can be worse for merely possible people never to exist. If this conclusion is correct, then the standard basis for giving no or less priority to merely possible persons would disappear (i.e., that things cannot be better or worse for them). Though defenders of Person-Affecting Views and their opponents may still disagree in theory, they could arrive at the same answers to many monumentally important practical questions.
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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Citations of this work BETA

Dissolving Death’s Time-of-Harm Problem.Travis Timmerman - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
Lopsided Lives.Theron Pummer - 2017 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 275-296.
Asymmetries in the Value of Existence.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):126-145.
Transfinitely Transitive Value.Kacper Kowalczyk - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.

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