A fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction

Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2779-2787 (2020)
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Abstract

According to the person-affecting restriction, one distribution of welfare can be better than another only if there is someone for whom it is better. Extant problems for the person-affecting restriction involve variable-population cases, such as the nonidentity problem, which are notoriously controversial and difficult to resolve. This paper develops a fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction. The problem reveals that, in the presence of incommensurable welfare levels, the person-affecting restriction is incompatible with minimal requirements of impartial beneficence even in fixed-population contexts.

Author's Profile

Jake Nebel
Princeton University

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