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Torbjörn Tännsjö
Stockholm University
  1. What Should We Agree on about the Repugnant Conclusion?Stephane Zuber, Nikhil Venkatesh, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Christian Tarsney, H. Orri Stefánsson, Katie Steele, Dean Spears, Jeff Sebo, Marcus Pivato, Toby Ord, Yew-Kwang Ng, Michal Masny, William MacAskill, Nicholas Lawson, Kevin Kuruc, Michelle Hutchinson, Johan E. Gustafsson, Hilary Greaves, Lisa Forsberg, Marc Fleurbaey, Diane Coffey, Susumu Cato, Clinton Castro, Tim Campbell, Mark Budolfson, John Broome, Alexander Berger, Nick Beckstead & Geir B. Asheim - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (4):379-383.
    The Repugnant Conclusion served an important purpose in catalyzing and inspiring the pioneering stage of population ethics research. We believe, however, that the Repugnant Conclusion now receives too much focus. Avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion should no longer be the central goal driving population ethics research, despite its importance to the fundamental accomplishments of the existing literature.
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  2.  21
    Hedonistic Utilitarianism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1998 - Edinburgh University Press.
    This volume presents a comprehensive statement in defense of the doctrine known as classical, hedonistic utilitarianism. It is presented as a viable alternative in the search for a moral theory and the claim is defended that we need such a theory. The book offers a distinctive approach and some quite controversial conclusions. Torbjorn Tannsjo challenges the assumption that hedonistic utilitarianism is at variance with common sense morality particularly as viewed through the perspective of the modern feminist moral critique.
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  3. Why We Ought to Accept the Repugnant Conclusion.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2002 - Utilitas 14 (3):339.
    Derek Parfit has famously pointed out that ‘total’ utilitarian views, such as classical hedonistic utilitarianism, lead to the conclusion that, to each population of quite happy persons there corresponds a more extensive population with people living lives just worth living, which is better. In particular, for any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better, (...)
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  4.  14
    Setting Health-Care Priorities: A Reply to Massimo Reichlin.Torbjörn Tännsjö - forthcoming - Diametros.
    This is a short reply to Professor Reichlin’s comment on my book Setting Health-Care Priorities. What Ethical Theories Tell Us. The version of prioritarianism I rely on in the book is defended as the most plausible one. The general claim that there is convergence between all plausible theories on distributive justice is also defended with regard to assisted reproduction, disability, and enhancement.
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  5. Chinese and Westerners Respond Differently to the Trolley Dilemmas.Henrik Ahlenius & Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2012 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 12 (3-4):195-201.
    A set of moral problems known as The Trolley Dilemmas was presented to 3000 randomly selected inhabitants of the USA, Russia and China. It is shown that Chinese are significantly less prone to support utility-maximizing alternatives, as compared to the US and Russian respondents. A number of possible explanations, as well as methodological issues pertaining to the field of surveying moral judgment and moral disagreement, are discussed.
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  6.  43
    The Repugnant Conclusion.Gustaf Arrhenius, Jesper Ryberg & Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab.
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  7.  77
    Hedonistic Utilitarianism.Earl Conee & Torbjorn Tannsjo - 1998 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):428.
    This is a wide-ranging defense of a distinctive version of hedonistic act utilitarianism. It is plainly written, forthright, and stimulating. Also, it is replete with disputable assertions and arguments. I shall pursue one issue here, after sketching the project of each substantial chapter.
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  8. The repugnant conclusion.Jesper Ryberg, Torbjörn Tännsjö & Gustaf Arrhenius - 2006 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Online; Last Accessed October 4:2006.
  9. Genetic Technology and Sport: Ethical Questions.Claudio Marcello Tamburrini & Torbjörn Tännsjö (eds.) - 2005 - Routledge.
    For elite athletes seeking a winning advantage, manipulation of their own genetic code has become a realistic possibility. In Genetic Technology and Sport, experts from sports science, genetics, philosophy, ethics, and international sports administration describe the potential applications of the new technology and debate the questions surrounding its use.
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  10.  38
    Why Derek Parfit had reasons to accept the Repugnant Conclusion.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (4):387-397.
    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 (...)
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  11.  95
    The morality of collective actions.Torbjorn Tannsjo - 1989 - Philosophical Quarterly 39 (155):221-228.
  12. Against Sexual Discrimination in Sports.Torbjorn Tannsjo - 2007 - In William J. Morgan (ed.), Ethics in Sport. Human Kinetics. pp. 347.
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  13. The Myth of Innocence: On Collective Responsibility and Collective Punishment.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (2):295-314.
    Collectivities, just like individuals, exist, can act, bear responsibility for their acts and omissions, and be guilty. It sometimes makes sense to hold them responsible for what they do, or don't do, and to punish them for their misdeeds. With respect to many collectivities there is no practical purpose in holding them responsible, since there is no way that we can bring them to justice. But there are exceptions from this rule. In particular it is plausible to assume that sanctions (...)
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  14.  25
    Setting Health-Care Priorities. What Ethical Theories Tell Us. A Response to My Critics.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2021 - Diametros 18 (68):60-70.
    The article provides answers to comments in this journal on my recent book, Setting Health-Care Priorities. What Ethical Theories Tell Us. Did I address all of the relevant theories? Yes, I did. Was my argument underdeveloped in any respects? Yes, at least in one as I should perhaps have discussed contractual ethical thinking more carefully. I do so in this response. Moreover, the critical comments raised have helped me to clarify my argument in many ways, for which I thank my (...)
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  15.  51
    The Repugnant Conclusion: Essays on Population Ethics.Torbjörn Tännsjö & Jesper Ryberg (eds.) - 2004 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Most people (including moral philosophers), when faced with the fact that some of their cherished moral views lead up to the Repugnant Conclusion, feel that they have to revise their moral outlook. However, it is a moot question as to how this should be done. It is not an easy thing to say how one should avoid the Repugnant Conclusion, without having to face even more serious implications from one's basic moral outlook. Several such attempts are presented in this volume. (...)
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  16. On deviant causal chains - no need for a general criterion.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):469-473.
    Donald Davidson brought to our attention deviant causal chains as a problem for causal theories of action. Consider Davidson's own example: " A climber might want to rid himself of the weight and danger of holding another man on a rope, and he might know that by loosening his hold on the rope he could rid himself of the weight and danger. This belief and want might so unnerve him as to cause him to loosen his hold, and yet it (...)
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  17.  80
    Blameless Wrongdoing.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1995 - Ethics 106 (1):120-127.
  18.  82
    Is Our Admiration for Sports Heroes Fascistoid?Törbjörn Tännsjö - 1998 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 25 (1):23-34.
  19. Future People, the All Affected Principle, and the Limits of the Aggregation: Model of Democracy.”.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2007 - In J. Josefsson D. Egonsson (ed.), Hommage à Wlodek. Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
  20.  91
    Consequentialism and Free Will.Maria Svedberg & Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2017 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 24:23-41.
    Many moral theories incorporate the idea that when an action is wrong, it is wrong because that there was something else that the agent could and should have done instead. Most notable among these are consequentialist theories. According to consequentialism an action A is wrong if and only if there was another action B that the agent could have performed such that, if the agent had performed B instead of A, the consequences would have been better. Relatively little attention has (...)
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  21.  79
    Utilitarianism or Prioritarianism?Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (2):240-250.
    A simple hedonistic theory allowing for interpersonal comparisons of happiness is taken for granted in this article. The hedonistic theory is used to compare utilitarianism, urging us to maximize the sum total of happiness, with prioritarianism, urging us to maximize a sum total of weighed happiness. It is argued with reference to a few thought experiments that utilitarianism is, intuitively speaking, more plausible than prioritarianism. The problem with prioritarianism surfaces when prudence and morality come apart.
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  22. Ought We to Enhance Our Cognitive Capacities?1.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2009 - Bioethics 23 (7):421-432.
    ABSTRACT Ought we to improve our cognitive capacities beyond the normal human range? It might be a good idea to level out differences between peoples cognitive capacities; and some people's reaching beyond normal capacities may have some good side‐effects on society at large (but also bad side‐effects, of course). But is there any direct gain to be made from having ones cognitive capacities enhanced? Would this as such make our lives go better? No, I argue; or at least there doesn't (...)
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  23.  23
    15 The genetic design of a new Amazon.Claudia Tamburrini & Torbjorn Tannsjo - 2005 - In Claudio Marcello Tamburrini & Torbjörn Tännsjö (eds.), Genetic Technology and Sport: Ethical Questions. Routledge. pp. 181.
  24. Moral Relativism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (2):123-143.
    Moral relativism comes in many varieties. One is a moral doctrine, according to which we ought to respect other cultures, and allow them to solve moral problems as they see fit. I will say nothing about this kind of moral relativism in the present context. Another kind of moral relativism is semantic moral relativism, according to which, when we pass moral judgements, we make an implicit reference to some system of morality (our own). According to this kind of moral relativism, (...)
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  25.  15
    Who Are the Beneficiaries?Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2007 - Bioethics 6 (4):288-296.
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  26.  30
    Context-Dependent Preferences and the Right to Forgo Life-Saving Treatments.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (4):716-733.
    A member of Jehovah’s Witnesses agreed to receive blood when alone, but rejected it once the elders were present. She insisted that the elders should stay, they were allowed to do so, and she bled to death. Was it all right to allow her to have the elders present when she made her final decision? Was it all right to allow her to bleed to death? It was, according to an anti-paternalist principle, which I have earlier defended on purely utilitarian (...)
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  27.  51
    Utilitarianism and informed consent.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (7):445-445.
    Being targeted by Nir Eyal's ingenious argument,1 I am pleased to have the opportunity to respond. It is fairly obvious that my utilitarian argument accomplishes what it is supposed to accomplish, namely a defence of the idea that the notion of informed consent should take roughly the form it takes in Western medicine. But does it fly in the face of commonsense moral thinking? I will argue that it does not.My argument is based on hedonistic utilitarianism.2 This means that it (...)
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  28.  60
    In Defence of Theory in Ethics.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1995 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):571 - 593.
    Particularism is in vogue in ethics today. Particularism is sometimes described as the idea that what is a sufficient moral reason in one situation need not be a sufficient moral reason in another situation. Indeed, it has been held, on particularism, what is a reason for an action in one situation might be a reason against the same type of action, or might not be a reason at all, in another situation. However, this description is insufficient. Even a generalist, such (...)
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  29.  62
    Who are the beneficiaries?Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1992 - Bioethics 6 (4):288–296.
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  30. Applied Ethics. A Defence.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):397-406.
    Given a reasonable coherentist view of justification in ethics, applied ethics, as here conceived of, cannot only guide us, in our practical decisions, but also provide moral understanding through explanation of our moral obligations. Furthermore, applied ethics can contribute to the growth of knowledge in ethics as such. We put moral hypotheses to crucial test in individual cases. This claim is defended against the challenges from moral intuitionism and particularism.
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  31. Should we change the human genome?Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 14 (3).
    Should we change the human genome? The most general arguments against changing the human genome are here in focus. Distinctions are made between positive and negative gene therapy, between germ-line and somatic therapy, and between therapy where the intention is to benefit a particular individual (a future child) and where the intention is to benefit the human gene-pool.Some standard arguments against gene-therapy are dismissed. Negative somatic therapy is not controversial. Even negative, germ-line therapy is endorsed, if the intention is to (...)
     
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  32. Moral conflict and moral realism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):113-117.
    There are genuine moral conflicts. sometimes by doing what we ought to do we do what we ought not to do. "pace" bernard williams the existence of such conflicts is compatible with the truth of moral realism. we realize this when we understand that ascriptions of rightness, wrongness, and obligatoriness are "de re" rather than "de dicto".
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  33.  91
    A realist and internalist response to one of Mackie’s arguments from queerness.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):347-357.
    If there is such a thing as objectively existing prescriptivity, as the moral realist claims, then we can also explain why—and we need not deny that—strong internalism is true. Strong conceptual internalism is true, not because of any belief in any magnetic force thought to be inherent in moral properties themselves, as Mackie argued, but because we do not allow that anyone has ‘accepted’ a normative claim, unless she is prepared to some extent to act on it.
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  34. Egalitarianism and the putative paradoxes of population ethics.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2008 - Utilitas 20 (2):187-198.
    The repugnant conclusion is acceptable from the point of view of total utilitarianism. Total utilitarians do not seem to be bothered with it. They feel that it is in no way repugnant. To me, a hard-nosed total utilitarian, this settles the case. However, if, sometimes, I doubt that total utilitarianism has the final say in ethics, and tend to think that there may be something to some objection to it or another, it is the objection to it brought forward from (...)
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  35.  34
    Compulsory sterilisation in sweden.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1998 - Bioethics 12 (3):236–249.
    In the Fall of 1997 the leading Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, created a media hype over the Swedish policy of compulsory sterilisation that had been in operation between 1935 and 1975. In the discussion that followed the moral condemnation of our medical past was unanimous. However, the reasons for rejecting what had gone on were varied and mutually inconsistent. Three strands of criticism were common: the argument from autonomy, the argument from caution, and the argument from biological scepticism. In the (...)
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  36.  8
    Moral Conflict and Moral Realism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):113-117.
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  37.  49
    The morality of abstract entities.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1978 - Theoria 44 (1):1-18.
  38.  24
    Duelling with doctors, restoring honour and avoiding shame? A cross-sectional study of sick-listed patients' experiences of negative healthcare encounters with special reference to feeling wronged and shame.Niels Lynøe, Maja Wessel, Daniel Olsson, Kristina Alexanderson, Torbjörn Tännsjö & Niklas Juth - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (10):654-657.
    Aims The aim of this study was to examine if it is plausible to interpret the appearance of shame in a Swedish healthcare setting as a reaction to having one's honour wronged. Methods Using a questionnaire, we studied answers from a sample of long-term sick-listed patients who had experienced negative encounters (n=1628) and of these 64% also felt wronged. We used feeling wronged to examine emotional reactions such as feeling ashamed and made the assumption that feeling shame could be associated (...)
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  39. Why should we respect the privacy of donors of biological material?Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2011 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (1):43-52.
    Why should we respect the privacy of donors of biological material? The question is answered in the present article in general philosophical terms from the point of view of an ethics of honour, a libertarian theory of rights, a view of respect for privacy based on the idea that autonomy is of value in itself, and utilitarianism respectively. For different reasons the ethics of honour and the idea of the value of autonomy are set to one side. It surfaces that (...)
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  40.  30
    Metaphysics and Morality.Torbjorn Tannsjo - 1998 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):355-359.
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  41.  39
    Soft determinism and how we become responsible for the past.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1989 - Philosophical Papers 18 (2):189-201.
  42. Medical Enhancement and the Ethos of Elite Sport.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2010 - In Julian Savulescu & Nick Bostrom (eds.), Human Enhancement. Oxford University Press.
     
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  43.  58
    Non-voluntary sterilization.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (4):401 – 415.
    We cannot easily condemn in principle a policy where people are non-voluntarily sterilized with their informed consent (where they accept sterilization, if they do, in order to avoid punishment). There are conceivable circumstances where such a policy would be morally acceptable. One such conceivable circumstance is the one (incorrectly, as it were) believed by most decent advocates of eugenics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to exist: to wit, a situation where the human race as such is facing (...)
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  44.  20
    A concrete view of intrinsic value.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1999 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), Recent Work on Intrinsic Value. Springer. pp. 207--211.
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  45.  48
    Responsibility and the explanatory view of consequences.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1982 - Philosophical Studies 42 (2):151 - 161.
    I conclude that the explanatory view of consequences is a fruitful one.This view accounts for our common sense view that actions are, in some sense, ‘sufficient’ for their consequences. It shows in a concrete and illuminating manner that we are or may be responsible for a vast number of events no matter how ‘innocently’ our actions may be described. It allows for the fact that individuals lack responsibility for consequences of collective actions, thereby explaining a generally felt ‘double effect’ built (...)
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  46.  65
    The moral import of modal realism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1987 - Theoria 53 (2-3):87-96.
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  47.  65
    The moral significance of moral realism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1988 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):247-261.
    Moral realism does not imply any interesting moral statements. However, There are pragmatic consequences of our acceptance of moral realism. If we accept moral realism we have good reasons to be concerned about moral arguments, And we are able to account for moral fallibility. If, On the other hand, We accept moral irrealism, A concern for moral arguments and moral consistency seems completely arbitrary, And we have difficulties to account for moral fallibility. We may even come to think, When accepting (...)
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  48.  9
    The Moral Significance of Moral Realism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1988 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):247-261.
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  49.  38
    Methodological individualism.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 1990 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):69-80.
    The doctrine of methodological individualism is clarified and different versions of it are distinguished. The main thesis of the article is that methodological individualism is either a false doctrine or else a doctrine compatible with functionalism, structuralism, and Marxism. Positively it is maintained that, for all we know, collective entities such as power structures may shape our beliefs and values; these beliefs and values may explain some of our actions and expectations. These actions and expectations, together with similar actions and (...)
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  50.  21
    Moral Realism.Nick Zangwill & Torbjorn Tannsjo - 1992 - Philosophical Quarterly 42 (169):514.
    '...the book is very dense with ideas...arguments concerning innumerable interesting points are always worth pondering.'-THE PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW.
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