Infinite aggregation: expanded addition

Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1917-1949 (2020)
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Abstract

How might we extend aggregative moral theories to compare infinite worlds? In particular, how might we extend them to compare worlds with infinite spatial volume, infinite temporal duration, and infinitely many morally valuable phenomena? When doing so, we face various impossibility results from the existing literature. For instance, the view we adopt can endorse the claim that worlds are made better if we increase the value in every region of space and time, or that they are made better if we increase the value obtained by every person. But they cannot endorse both claims, so we must choose. In this paper I show that, if we choose the latter, our view will face serious problems such as generating incomparability in many realistic cases. Opting instead to endorse the first claim, I articulate and defend a spatiotemporal, expansionist view of infinite aggregation. Spatiotemporal views such as this do face some difficulties, but I show that these can be overcome. With modification, they can provide plausible comparisons in cases that we care about most.

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Hayden Wilkinson
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

Infinite Aggregation and Risk.Hayden Wilkinson - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):340-359.
Infinite aggregation.Hayden Wilkinson - 2021 - Dissertation, Australian National University

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.

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