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Weighing and ReasoningThemes from the Philosophy of John Broome$
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Iwao Hirose and Andrew Reisner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684908.001.0001

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The Affirmative Answer to the Existential Question and the Person Affecting Restriction

The Affirmative Answer to the Existential Question and the Person Affecting Restriction

Chapter:
(p.110) 8 The Affirmative Answer to the Existential Question and the Person Affecting Restriction
Source:
Weighing and Reasoning
Author(s):

Gustaf Arrhenius

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684908.003.0009

The person affecting restriction states that one outcome can only be better than another if it is better for someone. The existential question concerns whether existence can be better or worse for a person than non-existence, the personal value of existence. According to the affirmative answer, existence can be better or worse than non-existence for a person. This chapter discusses the implications of the restriction and the affirmative answer to the existential question for population ethics, the value of future generations, and especially for the possibility of avoiding the so-called repugnant conclusion, an undesirable implication of classical utilitarianism.

Keywords:   person affecting restriction, value of existence, population ethics, future generations, repugnant conclusion, utilitarianism

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