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The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People$
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David Boonin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682935

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682935.001.0001

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Five Plausible Premises and One Implausible Conclusion

Five Plausible Premises and One Implausible Conclusion

(p.1) 1 Five Plausible Premises and One Implausible Conclusion
The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People

David Boonin

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the non-identity problem and sets the agenda for the book as a whole. It explains what the non-identity problem is, identifies a number of different versions of the problem, and provides specific examples of each version. It then explains why the problem is important in terms of both moral theory and applied ethics and concludes by defending three criteria that a solution must satisfy in order to count as a successful one. The chapter also includes an extended discussion of Parfit’s pioneering and influential account of the nature of the problem in his 1984 book Reasons and Persons.

Keywords:   applied ethics, bioethics, environmental ethics, future generations, moral theory, non-identity problem, Parfit

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