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More lives, better lives

Belshaw, Christopher (2003). More lives, better lives. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 6(2) pp. 127–141.

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Although many people believe that more people would be better, arguments intended to show this are unconvincing. I consider one of Parfit's arguments for a related conclusion, that even when both are worth living, we ought to prefer the better of two lives. Were this argument successful, or so I claim, then it would follow that more people would be better. But there aren't reasons for preferring the better of two lives. Nor is an attempted rejoinder effective. We can agree that there aren't reasons for preferring the better of two lives, and yet still maintain there are reasons for improving lives.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1386-2820
Keywords: consequentialism; future generations; obligation; Parfit; value
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Philosophy
Item ID: 5765
Depositing User: Christopher Belshaw
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 16:16
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