In Defense of Fanaticism

Ethics 132 (2):445-477 (2022)
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Abstract

Which is better: a guarantee of a modest amount of moral value, or a tiny probability of arbitrarily large value? To prefer the latter seems fanatical. But, as I argue, avoiding such fanaticism brings severe problems. To do so, we must decline intuitively attractive trade-offs; rank structurally identical pairs of lotteries inconsistently, or else admit absurd sensitivity to tiny probability differences; have rankings depend on remote, unaffected events ; and often neglect to rank lotteries as we already know we would if we learned more. Compared to these implications, fanaticism is highly plausible.

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Hayden Wilkinson
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Infinite aggregation.Hayden Wilkinson - 2021 - Dissertation, Australian National University
Infinite aggregation and risk.Hayden Wilkinson - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
Can risk aversion survive the long run?Hayden Wilkinson - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.

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