The Worseness of Nonexistence

In Espen Gamlund and Carl Tollef Solberg (ed.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 215-228 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Most believe that it is worse for a person to die than to continue to exist with a good life. At the same time, many believe that it is not worse for a merely possible person never to exist than to exist with a good life. I argue that if the underlying properties that make us the sort of thing we essentially are can come in small degrees, then to maintain this commonly-held pair of beliefs we will have to embrace an implausible sort of evaluative hypersensitivity to slight nonevaluative differences. Avoidance of such hypersensitivity pressures us to accept that it can be worse for merely possible people never to exist. If this conclusion is correct, then the standard basis for giving no or less priority to merely possible persons would disappear (i.e., that things cannot be better or worse for them). Though defenders of Person-Affecting Views and their opponents may still disagree in theory, they could arrive at the same answers to many monumentally important practical questions.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
PUMTLA
Revision history
First archival date: 2017-03-15
Latest version: 3 (2019-09-08)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Williamson, Timothy
Reasons and Persons.Margolis, Joseph

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Lopsided Lives.Pummer, Theron

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-05-22

Total views
323 ( #13,582 of 49,081 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
89 ( #6,228 of 49,081 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.