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

Hayden Wilkinson
Oxford University
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.
Keywords infinite utility streams  population ethics  infinite value  utilitarianism  infinite ethics  aggregation
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Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1007/s11098-020-01516-w
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
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Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA

Infinite Aggregation.Hayden Wilkinson - 2021 - Dissertation, Australian National University
Infinite Aggregation and Risk.Hayden Wilkinson - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-20.

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