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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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Accepting the Conclusion

Accepting the Conclusion

(p.189) 7 Accepting the Conclusion
The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People

David Boonin

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops and defends a novel solution to the non-identity problem. While every other solution to the problem involves rejecting one of the premises of the argument that gives rise to it, the solution defended here involves accepting the argument’s conclusion. The chapter begins by using common intuitions about a variety of cases to establish that the conclusion of the non-identity argument is not as implausible as it is almost always taken to be and by demonstrating that this result can be used to solve the problem in all of its different forms. The implications of this solution for moral theory and applied ethics are then identified and contrasted with the implications of all other solutions to the problem. The chapter concludes by showing how the solution defended here satisfies all three of the criteria that a successful solution to the problem must satisfy.

Keywords:   applied ethics, implications, intuitions, non-identity problem, solution

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