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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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Rejecting the First Premise

Rejecting the First Premise

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Rejecting the First Premise
Source:
The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People
Author(s):

David Boonin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682935.003.0002

This chapter explains and critically evaluates those solutions to the non-identity problem that involve rejecting the first premise of the argument that gives rise to the problem. These include solutions based on the claim that the comparison between existence and non-existence is incoherent, the claim that the de re/de dicto distinction solves the problem, and the claim that the problem can be avoided by appealing to certain kinds of metaphysical accounts of identity, as well as solutions based on arguments that have been defended by Benatar. It is argued that no solution that involves rejecting the first premise of the non-identity argument satisfies all three of the criteria that a successful solution to the problem must satisfy.

Keywords:   Benatar, de dicto, de re, existence, metaphysics of identity, non-existence, non-identity problem

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