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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 Third Premise

Rejecting the Third Premise

Chapter:
(p.103) 4 Rejecting the Third 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/9780199682935.003.0004

This chapter explains and critically evaluates those solutions to the non-identity problem that involve rejecting the third premise of the argument that gives rise to the problem. These include solutions based on the claim that acts in non-identity cases are self-harmful and solutions based on the claim that such acts cause harm to possible people. It is argued that no solution that involves rejecting the third premise of the non-identity argument satisfies all three of the criteria that a successful solution to the problem must satisfy. This is in part because of problems with the claim that acts in non-identity cases really are self-harmful or really do harm possible people, and in part because of problems with the claim that acts that are self-harmful or that harm possible people are morally wrong.

Keywords:   harm, non-identity problem, possible people, self-harm

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