Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © 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: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Problems concerning future populations help us better understand what it is for one possible future, or world, to be morally better than another. The repugnant conclusion challenges traditional forms of consequentialism, including utilitarianism. A key issue is whether, per the traditional view, we make things morally better (1) by creating additional people whose lives are worth living and (2) by creating nonidentical better-off people in place of less well-off but distinct people. Or can we, instead, make things morally better only (3) by making things better for some particular person or another? Is the structure of morality aggregative in nature or instead person-affecting (or person-based) in nature? While the latter, non-traditional view may tempt us, it also seems to give rise to the nonidentity problem and various inconsistency objections. Can those problems be resolved? Questions raised by Parfit and others decades ago remain unsettled today but as critical as ever.

Keywords: utilitarianism, person-affecting view, person-based view, impersonal view, repugnant conclusion, nonidentity problem, Parfit

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.