Why Derek Parfit had reasons to accept the Repugnant Conclusion

Utilitas 32 (4):387-397 (2020)
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Total views imply what Derek Parfit has called ‘the repugnant conclusion’. There are several strategies aimed at debunking the intuition that this implication is repugnant. In particular, it goes away when we consider the principle of unrestricted instantiation, according to which any instantiation of the repugnant conclusion must appear repugnant if we should be warranted in relying on it as evidence against total theories. However, there are instantiations of the conclusion where it doesn't seem to be at all repugnant. Hence there is nothing repugnant about the repugnant conclusion as such. The faults with total views have nothing to do with large numbers or with the conclusion as such. It is possible, if you like, to correct these putative faults even if you adopt some total view (different from utilitarianism).



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