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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 Fourth Premise

Rejecting the Fourth Premise

Chapter:
(p.108) 5 Rejecting the Fourth 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/9780199682935.003.0005

This chapter explains and critically evaluates those solutions to the non-identity problem that involve rejecting the fourth premise of the argument that gives rise to the problem, the claim that if an act does not harm anyone then the act does not wrong anyone. These include solutions based on considerations having to do with rights (e.g. Smolkin, Woodward, and Tooley), fairness (e.g. Weinberg and Reiman), and respect (e.g. Kavka). It is argued that no solution that involves rejecting the fourth premise of the non-identity argument satisfies all three of the criteria that a successful solution to the problem must satisfy.

Keywords:   fairness, Kavka, non-identity problem, Reiman, respect, rights, Smolkin, Tooley, Woodward, Weinberg

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