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The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People

Oxford University Press (2014)

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  1. Daño al futuro: ¿Puede el no comparativismo resolver el problema de la no-identidad?Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2017 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 70:83-96.
    la tesis clásica del daño afirma que un sujeto daña a otro cuando lo coloca en una peor situación de la que podría estar de otro modo. Sin embargo, algunas acciones causan consecuencias malas en determinados sujetos pero no los colocan en una condición peor de la que podrían estar de otro modo. En tales casos el no-comparativismo parece poder aportar la solución correcta desde que, para tales tesis dañar a otro es colocar a un sujeto en una condición mala. (...)
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  • The procreative asymmetry and the impossibility of elusive permission.Jack Spencer - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3819-3842.
    This paper develops a form of moral actualism that can explain the procreative asymmetry. Along the way, it defends and explains the attractive asymmetry: the claim that although an impermissible option can be self-conditionally permissible, a permissible option cannot be self-conditionally impermissible.
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  • Well-Being Counterfactualist Accounts of Harm and Benefit.Olle Risberg, Jens Johansson & Erik Carlson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):164-174.
    ABSTRACT Suppose that, for every possible event and person who would exist whether or not the event were to occur, there is a well-being level that the person would occupy if the event were to occur, and a well-being level that the person would occupy if the event were not to occur. Do facts about such connections between events and well-being levels always suffice to determine whether an event would harm or benefit a person? Many seemingly attractive accounts of harm (...)
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  • Impossible Obligations and the Non-Identity Problem.Robert Noggle - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2371-2390.
    In a common example of the non-identity problem, a person deliberately conceives a child who she knows will have incurable blindness but a life well worth living. Although Wilma’s decision seems wrong, it is difficult to say why. This paper develops and defends a version of the “indirect strategy” for solving the NIP. This strategy rests on the idea that it is wrong to deliberately make it impossible to fulfill an obligation; consequently, it is wrong for Wilma to create Pebbles (...)
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  • The Rights of Future Persons Under Attack: Correlativity in the Non-Identity Problem.Andre Campos - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):625-648.
    This paper aims at answering some of the objections to the NIP’s criticism of the idea of rights of future persons. Those objections usually adopt different perspectives depending on how they understand differently the nature of the correlativity between rights and duties – some adopt a present-rights-of-future-persons view, others a future-rights-of-future-persons view, others a transitive present-rights-of-present-persons view, and others still an eternalist view of rights and persons. The paper will try to show that only a non-transitive present-rights-of-present-persons view can survive (...)
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  • Why the Non-Identity Problem Does Not Undermine Our Obligations to the Future Under Real-World Conditions.Johan Sandelin - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):851-863.
    When Derek Parfit in Reasons and Persons, examined whether the Non-Identity Problem could be solved with the Impersonal Total Principle, he assumed perfect equality in the future population outcomes under his consideration. His thinking was that this assumption could not distort his reasoning, but would make it more simple and clear. He then reasoned that the best future population outcome, according to the Impersonal Total Principle, would be an enormous population, whose members have lives only barely worth living, as a (...)
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  • When Good Things Happen to Harmed People.Molly Gardner - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):893-908.
    The problem of justified harm is the problem of explaining why it is permissible to inflict harm for the sake of future benefits in some cases but not in others. In this paper I first motivate the problem by comparing a case in which a lifeguard breaks a swimmer’s arm in order to save her life to a case in which Nazis imprison a man who later grows wiser as a result of the experience. I consider other philosophers’ attempts to (...)
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  • Harm and the Concept of Medical Disorder.Neil Feit - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5):367-385.
    According to Jerome Wakefield’s harmful dysfunction analysis of medical disorder, the inability of some internal part or mechanism to perform its natural function is necessary, but not sufficient, for disorder. HDA also requires that the part dysfunction be harmful to the individual. I consider several problems for HDA’s harm criterion in this article. Other accounts on which harm is necessary for disorder will suffer from all or almost all of these problems. Comparative accounts of harm imply that one is harmed (...)
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  • Are There Moral Differences Between Maternal Spindle Transfer and Pronuclear Transfer?César Palacios-González - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (4):503-511.
    This paper examines whether there are moral differences between the mitochondrial replacement techniques that have been recently developed in order to help women afflicted by mitochondrial DNA diseases to have genetically related children absent such conditions: maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer. Firstly, it examines whether there is a moral difference between MST and PNT in terms of the divide between somatic interventions and germline interventions. Secondly, it considers whether PNT and MST are morally distinct under a therapy/creation optic. Finally, (...)
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  • Children’s Rights and the Non-Identity Problem.Erik Magnusson - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (5):580-605.
    Can appealing to children’s rights help to solve the non-identity problem in cases of procreation? A number of philosophers have answered affirmatively, arguing that even if children cannot be harmed by being born into disadvantaged conditions, they may nevertheless be wronged if those conditions fail to meet a minimal standard of decency to which all children are putatively entitled. This paper defends the tenability of this view by outlining and responding to five prominent objections that have been raised against it (...)
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  • Human Rights, Harm, and Climate Change Mitigation.Brian Berkey - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):416-435.
    A number of philosophers have resisted impersonal explanations of our obligation to mitigate climate change, and have developed accounts according to which these obligations are explained by human rights or harm-based considerations. In this paper I argue that several of these attempts to explain our mitigation obligations without appealing to impersonal factors fail, since they either cannot account for a plausibly robust obligation to mitigate, or have implausible implications in other cases. I conclude that despite the appeal of the motivations (...)
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  • Compensation for Energy Infrastructures: Can a Capability Approach Be More Equitable?Fausto Corvino, Giuseppe Pellegrini-Masini, Alberto Pirni & Stefano Maran - 2021 - Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 22 (2):197-217.
    In this article, we deal with the evaluation of the losses suffered by persons living in urban areas as a result of energy services. In the first part, we analyse how by adopting different informational foci we obtain contrasting interpersonal evaluations regarding the same loss. In the second part, we distinguish between a diachronic and a hypothetical/moralised threshold for harm in order to assess whether individuals are benefiting from or being harmed by a given energy service. Our argument is that (...)
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  • On the Possibility (and Acceptability) of Paternalism Towards Future People.Andreas Bengtson - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):13-25.
    This article argues that it is possible to act paternalistically towards future people, as long as the following requirements are met: the act/choice is not such that it will prevent the future person from coming into existence; the action/choice is such that it can be taken by the future person herself without significant disadvantage to her; and the act/choice is not such that there is significant uncertainty at the time of choice about the preferences of the future person. I argue (...)
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  • The Subject of Harm in Non-Identity Cases.Jens Johansson - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):1-15.
    In a typical non-identity case, the agent performs an action that causes someone to exist at a low but positive level of well-being, although an alternative was to create another, much happier person instead. There seem to be strong moral reasons against what the agent does, but it is difficult to explain how this can be so. In particular, it seems that on a simple counterfactual account of harm, the action does not harm anyone, as it does not make anyone (...)
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  • Harming as Making Worse Off.Duncan Purves - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2629-2656.
    A powerful argument against the counterfactual comparative account of harm is that it cannot distinguish harming from failing to benefit. In reply to this problem, I suggest a new account of harm. The account is a counterfactual comparative one, but it counts as harms only those events that make a person occupy his level of well-being at the world at which the event occurs. This account distinguishes harming from failing to benefit in a way that accommodates our intuitions about the (...)
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  • Risking Future Generations.Rahul Kumar - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):245-257.
    Many of the policy choices we face that have implications for the lives of future generations involve creating a risk that they will live lives that are significantly compromised. I argue that we can fruitfully make use of the resources of Scanlon’s contractualist account of moral reasoning to make sense of the intuitive idea that, in many cases, the objection to adopting a policy that puts the interest of future generations at risk is that doing so wrongs those who will (...)
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  • Contractualism, Person-Affecting Wrongness and the Non-Identity Problem.Corey Katz - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):103-119.
    A number of theorists have argued that Scanlon's contractualist theory both "gets around" and "solves" the non-identity problem. They argue that it gets around the problem because hypothetical deliberation on general moral principles excludes the considerations that lead to the problem. They argue that it solves the problem because violating a contractualist moral principle in one's treatment of another wrongs that particular other, grounding a person-affecting moral claim. In this paper, I agree with the first claim but note that all (...)
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  • Iñigo González-Ricoy and Axel Gosseries : Institutions for Future Generations: Oxford University Press, 2016, Xv + 432 Pp, £65.00, ISBN: 978-0-19-874695-9. [REVIEW]Vuko Andrić - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):481-486.
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  • Harm: Omission, Preemption, Freedom.Nathan Hanna - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):251-73.
    The Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm says that an event is overall harmful for someone if and only if it makes her worse off than she otherwise would have been. I defend this account from two common objections.
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  • No Harm Done? An Experimental Approach to the Non-Identity Problem.Matthew Kopec & Justin P. Bruner - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Discussions of the non-identity problem presuppose a widely shared intuition that actions or policies that change who comes into existence don't, thereby, become morally unproblematic. We hypothesize that this intuition isn’t generally shared by the public, which could have widespread implications concerning how to generate support for large-scale, identity-affecting policies relating to matters like climate change. To test this, we ran a version of the well-known dictator game designed to mimic the public's behavior over identity-affecting choices. We found the public (...)
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  • Can Parfit’s Appeal to Incommensurabilities Block the Continuum Argument for the Repugnant Conclusion?Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2019 - In Paul Bowman & Katharina Berndt Rasmussen (eds.), Studies on Climate Ethics and Future Generations, Vol. 1. Institute for Futures Studies.
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  • I Have Got a Personal Non-Identity Problem: On What We Owe Our Future Selves.Didde Boisen Andersen - 2020 - Res Publica 27 (1):129-144.
    The idea that people’s numerical identity may sometimes be discontinuous over time initially appears to provide useful material for defending restrictions on putatively self-harming behaviour in a non-paternalistic manner. According to this line of thinking, sometimes a putatively self-harming act is, in fact, a matter of ‘harm to others’. Yet, in this paper I argue that if we, as we ought to do, take into consideration the non-identity problem, this challenges the notion that the agent at T1 is in fact (...)
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  • On the Strength of the Reason Against Harming.Molly Gardner - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (1):73-87.
    _ Source: _Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 73 - 87 According to action-relative accounts of harming, an action harms someone only if it makes her worse off in some respect than she would have been, had the action not been performed. Action-relative accounts can be contrasted with effect-relative accounts, which hold that an action may harm an individual in virtue of its effects on that individual, regardless of whether the individual would have been better off in the absence of the (...)
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  • David Boonin on the Non-Identity Argument: Rejecting the Second Premise.Molly Gardner - 2019 - Law, Ethics and Philosophy 7:29-47.
    According to various “harm-based” approaches to the non-identity problem, an action that brings a particular child into existence can also harm that child, even if his or her life is worth living. In the third chapter of The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People, David Boonin surveys a variety of harm-based approaches and argues that none of them are successful. In this paper I argue that his objections to these various approaches do not impugn a harm-based approach that (...)
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  • Reply to Klocksiem on the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm.Erik Carlson - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):407-413.
    In a recent article in this journal, I claimed that the widely held counterfactual comparative account of harm violates two very plausible principles about harm and prudential reasons. Justin Klocksiem argues, in a reply, that CCA is in fact compatible with these principles. In this rejoinder, I shall try to show that Klocksiem’s defense of CCA fails.
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  • Do We Have Moral Obligations Towards Future People? Addressing the Moral Vagueness of Future Environmental Scenarios.Gabriela Arriagada Bruneau - 2018 - Veritas: Revista de Filosofía y Teología 40:49-65.
    In this paper, I will be primarily concerned with moral issues regarding future people and the environment. When it comes to the future, we have deontological and epistemic limitations. The closer to the present, the higher the certainty and the knowledge we have about facts. Thus, when we intend to find moral clarity regarding a future scenario, we deal with an inverse relation between certainty and time. The main problem is that most ways of dealing with moral issues about future (...)
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  • El equlibrio reflexivo y la función de los ejemplos en la investigación moral.Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2019 - Anuario Del Centro de Investigaciones Jurídicas y Sociales (Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba):687-709.
    Este trabajo pretende ser una reconstrucción de uno del equilibrio reflexivo. Proporcionaré un concepto, enunciaré sus elementos y describiré cada uno de sus pasos. Afirmaré que puede suscribirse al uso del equilibrio reflexivo no solo desde esquemas coherentistas sino también –contrariamente a lo tradicionalmente sostenido- fundacionalistas. Afirmaré también que ambos esquemas pueden ser sensibles a la experiencia moral humana y que, por tanto, ninguno de los dos representa, necesariamente, un modo viciado de hacer filosofía moral. Finalmente, dado que muchas investigaciones (...)
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  • A Harm Based Solution to the Non-Identity Problem.Molly Gardner - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:427-444.
    Many of us agree that we ought not to wrong future people, but there remains disagreement about which of our actions can wrong them. Can we wrong individuals whose lives are worth living by taking actions that result in their very existence? The problem of justifying an answer to this question has come to be known as the non-identity problem.[1] While the literature contains an array of strategies for solving the problem,[2] in this paper I will take what I call (...)
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  • The Diner’s Defence: Producers, Consumers, and the Benefits of Existence.Abelard Podgorski - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):64-77.
    One popular defence of moral omnivorism appeals to facts about the indirectness of the diner’s causal relationship to the suffering of farmed animals. Another appeals to the claim that farmed animals would not exist but for our farming practices. The import of these claims, I argue, has been misunderstood, and the standard arguments grounded in them fail. In this paper, I develop a better argument in defence of eating meat which combines resources from both of these strategies, together with principles (...)
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  • El peso de los daños: estados de daño y razones para no dañar.Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2016 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofía Política 5 (4):1-25.
    In this paper I intend to analyse the meaning of harm as well as the strength of the reasons against harming provided by harm-states. I will argue that there are two kinds of harms: absolute harms and relative harms. Also, I will argue that when certain harm has been completely covered by considering such harm as absolute, the consideration of such harm as –also– relative is displaced. Such considerations should be taken into account when the suffered harms cannot be entirely (...)
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  • The Non-Identity Problem in Climate Ethics: A Restatement.Jasmina Nedevska - 2020 - Intergenerational Justice Review 5 (2).
    This article justifies and restates the non-identity problem in relation to climate change. First and briefly, I argue that while there is often good reason to set the NIP aside in practical politics, there can be areas where a climate NIP will have practical implications. An instructive example concerns climate change litigation. Second, I argue that there are three particular circumstances of a climate NIP that may set it apart from the more established NIP in bioethics. These differences regard interaction, (...)
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  • Is a Person-Affecting Solution to the Nonidentity Problem Impossible? Axiology, Accessibility and Additional People.Melinda A. Roberts - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):200-228.
    This paper considers two objections based in axiological considerations against the position that whether a given outcome, or possible future or world, is morally worse than a second world may depend in part on what is going on at a third world. Such a wide-angled approach to determining worseness is critical to the solution I have previously proposed in connection with the nonidentity problem. I argue that both objections fail.
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  • The Preemption Problem.Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):351-365.
    According to the standard version of the counterfactual comparative account of harm, an event is overall harmful for an individual if and only if she would have been on balance better off if it had not occurred. This view faces the “preemption problem.” In the recent literature, there are various ingenious attempts to deal with this problem, some of which involve slight additions to, or modifications of, the counterfactual comparative account. We argue, however, that none of these attempts work, and (...)
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  • Derecho, Moral y el Problema de la No Identidad: Apuntes sobre el concepto de Daño.Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2015 - DOXA: Cuadernos de Filsosofía Del Derecho 1 (38):473-499.
    En el presente escrito intentaré explorar la relación entre dos temas controvertidos: el daño y el problema de la no-identidad. Sostendré la idea de que ninguna tesis plausible del daño puede resolver completamente el problema de la no-identidad. Sin embargo, defenderé que una reformulación de la tesis comparativa contra-fáctica es superior a todas las otras tesis del daño y por tanto debería ser adoptada. | In this paper I tried to explore the relation between two controversial issues: harm and the (...)
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