Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The temporal locations of benefits and harms matter to us. People prefer past pain to future pain, even when this choice includes more total pain. But should the location of benefits and harms matter to us, all else being equal? This question is an ethical one. This chapter deals with defending temporal neutrality, the thesis that agents should attach no normative significance to the temporal location of benefits and harms, all else being equal. A powerful argument for temporal neutrality comes from prudence. However, prudence also assigns normative significance only to benefits and harms that occur to oneself, not other agents. It also suggests that the fact that one is later compensated for present sacrifice is crucial to assigning equal importance to all parts of an agent's life, but not equally to all agents.

Keywords: temporal neutrality, temporal location, prudence, benefits, harms

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.