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  1. Utilitarianism, Integrity and Partiality.Elizabeth Ashford - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (8):421.
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  • The methods of ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1874 - Bristol, U.K.: Thoemmes Press. Edited by Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones.
    This Hackett edition, first published in 1981, is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the seventh edition as published by Macmillan and Company, Limited. From the forward by John Rawls: In the utilitarian tradition Henry Sidgwick has an important place. His fundamental work, The Methods of Ethics, is the clearest and most accessible formulation of what we may call 'the classical utilitarian doctorine.' This classical doctrine holds that the ultimate moral end of social and individual action is the greatest net (...)
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  • What Should We Do About Future Generations?Yew-Kwang Ng - 1989 - Economics and Philosophy 5 (2):235.
    Parfit's requirements for an ideal Theory X cannot be fully met since the Mere Addition Principle and Non-Antiegalitarianism imply the Repugnant Conclusion: Theory X does not exist. However, since the Repugnant Conclusion is really compelling, the Impersonal Total Principle should be adopted for impartial comparisons concerning future generations. Nevertheless, where our own interests are affected, we may yet choose to be partial, trading off our concern for future goodness with our self-interests. Theory X' meets all Parfit's requirements except the Mere (...)
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  • The epistemic challenge to longtermism.Christian Tarsney - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-37.
    Longtermists claim that what we ought to do is mainly determined by how our actions might affect the very long-run future. A natural objection to longtermism is that these effects may be nearly impossible to predict — perhaps so close to impossible that, despite the astronomical importance of the far future, the expected value of our present actions is mainly determined by near-term considerations. This paper aims to precisify and evaluate one version of this epistemic objection to longtermism. To that (...)
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  • The Logical Case for “Wrongful Life”.Bonnie Steinbock - 1986 - Hastings Center Report 16 (2):15-20.
    Suits that claim that a child would be better off never having been born often founder on conceptual and logical dilemmas. However, the correct interpretation of “wrongful life” does not require a comparison between existence and nonexistence. The New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in the Procanik case to limit damages to extraordinary medical expenses, barring recovery for pain and suffering, is a reasonable resolution.
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  • Common-Sense Morality and Consequentialism.Michael Slote - 1985 - Boston: Routledge.
    Originally published in 1985 and now re-issued with a new preface, this study assesses the two major moral theories of ethical consequentialism and common-sense morality by means of mutual comparison and an attempt to elicit the implications and tendencies of each theory individually. The author shows that criticisms and defences of common-sense morality and of consequentialism give inadequate characterizations of the dispute between them and thus at best provide incomplete rationales for either of these influential moral views. Both theories face (...)
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  • Moral Autonomy and Agent-Centred Options.Seana Valentine Shiffrin - 1991 - Analysis 51 (4):244 - 254.
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  • The rejection of consequentialism: a philosophical investigation of the considerations underlying rival moral conceptions.Samuel Scheffler - 1982 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    In contemporary philosophy, substantive moral theories are typically classified as either consequentialist or deontological. Standard consequentialist theories insist, roughly, that agents must always act so as to produce the best available outcomes overall. Standard deontological theories, by contrast, maintain that there are some circumstances where one is permitted but not required to produce the best overall results, and still other circumstances in which one is positively forbidden to to do. Classical utilitarianism is the most familiar consequentialist view, but it is (...)
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  • Human morality.Samuel Scheffler - 1992 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Some people believe that the demands of morality coincide with the requirements of an enlightened self-interest. Others believe that morality is diametrically opposed to considerations of self-interest. This book argues that there is another position, intermediate between these extremes, which makes better sense of the totality of our moral thought and practice. Scheffler elaborates this position via an examination of morality's content, scope, authority, and deliberative role. Although conflicts between morality and self-interest do arise, according to this position, nevertheless morality (...)
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  • An Asymmetry in the Ethics of Procreation.Melinda A. Roberts - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):765-776.
    According to the Asymmetry, it is wrong to bring a miserable child into existence but permissible not to bring a happy child into existence. When it comes to procreation, we don’t have complete procreative liberty. But we do have some discretion. The Asymmetry seems highly intuitive. But a plausible account of the Asymmetry has been surprisingly difficult to provide, and it may well be that most moral philosophers – or at least most consequentialists – think that all reasonable efforts to (...)
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  • Discounting, Climate Change, and the Ecological Fallacy.Matthew Rendall - 2019 - Ethics 129 (3):441-463.
    Discounting future costs and benefits is often defended on the ground that our descendants will be richer. Simply to treat the future as better off, however, is to commit an ecological fallacy. Even if our descendants are better off when we average across climate change scenarios, this cannot justify discounting costs and benefits in possible states of the world in which they are not. Giving due weight to catastrophe scenarios requires energetic action against climate change.
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  • A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
    Previous edition, 1st, published in 1971.
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  • Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interersts, he argues, and most of us have moral views that are self-defeating. We often act wrongly, although we know there will be no one with serious grounds for complaint, and when we consider future generations it is very hard to avoid conclusions (...)
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  • “The Scalar Approach to Utilitarianism”.Alastair Norcross - 2008 - In Henry West (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Mill's Utilitarianism. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 217--32.
    This chapter contains section titled: Introduction The Demandingness Objection Scalar Utilitarianism Wrongness as Blameworthiness Rightness and Goodness as Guides to Action.
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  • Give till it hurts? Beneficence, imperfect duties, and a moderate response to the aid question.Robert Noggle - 2009 - Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (1):1-16.
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  • The demands of consequentialism.Tim Mulgan - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Tim Mulgan presents a penetrating examination of consequentialism: the theory that human behavior must be judged in terms of the goodness or badness of its consequences. The problem with consequentialism is that it seems unreasonably demanding, leaving us no room for our own aims and interests. In response, Mulgan offers his own, more practical version of consequentialism--one that will surely appeal to philosophers and laypersons alike.
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  • The limits of morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Most people believe that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. Although it would often be meritorious, we are not, in fact, morally required to do all that we can to promote overall good. What's more, most people also believe that certain types of acts are simply forbidden, morally off limits, even when necessary for promoting the overall good. In this provocative analysis Kagan maintains that despite the intuitive appeal of these views, they cannot be adequately defended. (...)
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  • Value and population size.Thomas Hurka - 1982 - Ethics 93 (3):496-507.
    Just because an angel is better than a stone, it does not follow that two angels are better than one angel and one stone. So said Aquinas (Summa contra Gentiles III, 71), and the sentiment was echoed by Leibniz. In section 118 of the Theodicy he wrote: "No substance is either absolutely precious or absolutely contemptible in the sight of God. It is certain that God attaches more importance to a man than to a lion, but I do not know (...)
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  • Population axiology.Hilary Greaves - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12442.
    Population axiology is the study of the conditions under which one state of affairs is better than another, when the states of affairs in ques- tion may differ over the numbers and the identities of the persons who ever live. Extant theories include totalism, averagism, variable value theories, critical level theories, and “person-affecting” theories. Each of these the- ories is open to objections that are at least prima facie serious. A series of impossibility theorems shows that this is no coincidence: (...)
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  • Who is starving whom?L. Jonathan Cohen - 1981 - Theoria 47 (2):65-81.
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  • Climate change, intergenerational equity and the social discount rate.Simon Caney - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (4):320-342.
    Climate change is projected to have very severe impacts on future generations. Given this, any adequate response to it has to consider the nature of our obligations to future generations. This paper seeks to do that and to relate this to the way that inter-generational justice is often framed by economic analyses of climate change. To do this the paper considers three kinds of considerations that, it has been argued, should guide the kinds of actions that one generation should take (...)
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  • Weighing lives.John Broome - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    We are often faced with choices that involve the weighing of people's lives against each other, or the weighing of lives against other good things. These are choices both for individuals and for societies. A person who is terminally ill may have to choose between palliative care and more aggressive treatment, which will give her a longer life but at some cost in suffering. We have to choose between the convenience to ourselves of road and air travel, and the lives (...)
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  • On the overwhelming importance of shaping the far future.Nicholas Beckstead - unknown
    In slogan form, the thesis of this dissertation is that shaping the far future is overwhelmingly important. More precisely, I argue that: Main Thesis: From a global perspective, what matters most is that we do what is best for the general trajectory along which our descendants develop over the coming millions, billions, and trillions of years. The first chapter introduces some key concepts, clarifies the main thesis, and outlines what follows in later chapters. Some of the key concepts include: existential (...)
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  • Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice.Brian Barry - 1997 - Theoria 44 (89):43-64.
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  • The Demandingness of Scanlon’s Contractualism.Elizabeth Ashford - 2003 - Ethics 113 (2):273-302.
    One of the reasons why Kantian contractualism has been seen as an appealing alternative to utilitarianism is that it seems to be able to avoid utilitarianism's extreme demandingness, while retaining a fully impartial moral point of view. I argue that in the current state of the world, contractualist obligations to help those in need are not significantly less demanding than utilitarian obligations. I also argue that while a plausible version of utilitarianism would be considerably less demanding if the state of (...)
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  • The impotence of the demandingness objection.David Sobel - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-17.
    Consequentialism, many philosophers have claimed, asks too much of us to be a plausible ethical theory. Indeed, the theory's severe demandingness is often claimed to be its chief flaw. My thesis is that as we come to better understand this objection, we see that, even if it signals or tracks the existence of a real problem for Consequentialism, it cannot itself be a fundamental problem with the view. The objection cannot itself provide good reason to break with Consequentialism, because it (...)
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  • Moral limits on the demands of beneficence?Richard Arneson - 2011
    If you came upon a small child drowning in a pond, you ought to save the child even at considerable cost and risk to yourself. In 1972 Peter Singer observed that inhabitants of affluent industrialized societies stand in exactly the same relationship to the millions of poor inhabitants of poor undeveloped societies that you would stand to the small child drowning in the example just given. Given that you ought to help the drowning child, by parity of reasoning we ought (...)
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  • Alienation, consequentialism, and the demands of morality.Peter Railton - 1988 - In Samuel Scheffler (ed.), Consequentialism and its critics. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • Moral demands in nonideal theory.Liam B. Murphy - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Is there a limit to the legitimate demands of morality? In particular, is there a limit to people's responsibility to promote the well-being of others, either directly or via social institutions? Utilitarianism admits no such limit, and is for that reason often said to be an unacceptably demanding moral and political view. In this original new study, Murphy argues that the charge of excessive demands amounts to little more than an affirmation of the status quo. The real problem with utilitarianism (...)
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  • The Case for Strong Longtermism.Hilary Greaves & William MacAskill - 2019 - Gpi Working Paper.
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  • Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
    As I write this, in November 1971, people are dying in East Bengal from lack of food, shelter, and medical caxc. The suffering and death that are occurring there now axe not inevitable, 1101; unavoidable in any fatalistic sense of the term. Constant poverty, a cyclone, and a civil war have turned at least nine million people into destitute refugees; nevertheless, it is not beyond Lhe capacity of the richer nations to give enough assistance to reduce any further suffering to (...)
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  • Problems of Population Theory.Jeff McMahan - 1981 - Ethics 92 (1):96–127.
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  • The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity.Toby Ord - 2020 - London: Bloomsbury.
    Humanity stands at a precipice. -/- Our species could survive for millions of generations — enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice; to reach new heights of flourishing. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, gaining the power to destroy ourselves, without the wisdom to ensure we won’t. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pandemics and unaligned artificial intelligence. If we do not (...)
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  • Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics.Charles Blackorby, Walter Bossert & David J. Donaldson - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book presents an exploration of the idea of the common or social good, extended so that alternatives with different populations can be ranked. The approach is, in the main, welfarist, basing rankings on the well-being, broadly conceived, of those who are alive. The axiomatic method is employed, and topics investigated include: the measurement of individual well-being, social attitudes toward inequality of well-being, the main classes of population principles, principles that provide incomplete rankings, principles that rank uncertain alternatives, best choices (...)
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  • Future people: a moderate consequentialist account of our obligations to future generations.Tim Mulgan - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He also brings together several different contemporary philosophical discussions, including the demands of morality and international justice. His aim is to produce a coherent, intuitively plausible moral theory that is not unreasonably demanding, even when extended to cover future people. While (...)
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  • Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World.John Broome - 2012 - W. W. Norton.
    Esteemed philosopher John Broome avoids the familiar ideological stances on climate change policy and examines the issue through an invigorating new lens. As he considers the moral dimensions of climate change, he reasons clearly through what universal standards of goodness and justice require of us, both as citizens and as governments. His conclusions—some as demanding as they are logical—will challenge and enlighten. Eco-conscious readers may be surprised to hear they have a duty to offset all their carbon emissions, while policy (...)
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  • Ethics: The Fundamentals.Julia Driver - 2006 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    _Ethics: The Fundamentals_ explores core ideas and arguments in moral theory by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics. The first volume in the new Fundamentals of Philosophy series. Presents lively, real-world examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas. Constitutes an excellent resource for readers coming to the subject of ethics for the first time.
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  • The demands of beneficence.Liam Murphy - 1993 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (4):267-292.
    Principles of bcnciiccnce require us to promote the good. If we believe that a plausible mom] conception will contain some such principle, we must address the issue of the demands it imposes on agents. Some writers have defended extremely demanding principles, while others have argued that only principles with limited demands are acceptable. In this paper I su ggest that we 100k at the demands 0f beneficencc in a different way; 0ur concern should not just be with the extent of (...)
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  • The Economics of Climate Change.Nicholas Stern - 2007 - Environmental Values 16 (4):532-536.
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  • Person-affecting utilitarianism.Ralf M. Bader - 2022 - In Gustaf Arrhenius, Krister Bykvist, Tim Campbell & Elizabeth Finneron-Burns (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  • Libertarian Theories of Intergenerational Justice.Peter Vallentyne & Hillel Steiner - 2009 - In Axel Gosseries & Lukas Meyer (eds.), Justice Between Generations. Oxford University Press.
    Justice and Libertarianism The term ‘justice’ is commonly used in several different ways. Sometimes it designates the moral permissibility of political structures (such as legal systems). Sometimes it designates moral fairness (as opposed to efficiency or other considerations that are relevant to moral permissibility). Sometimes it designates legitimacy in the sense of it being morally impermissible for others to interfere forcibly with the act or omission (e.g., my failing to go to dinner with my mother may be wrong but nonetheless (...)
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  • Enough for the Future.Lukas H. Meyer & Dominic Roser - 2009 - In Axel Gosseries & Lukas H. Meyer (eds.), Intergenerational Justice. Oxford University Press.
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  • 'Making People Happy, Not Making Happy People': A Defense of the Asymmetry Intuition in Population Ethics.Johann David Frick - unknown
    This dissertation provides a defense of the normative intuition known as the Procreation Asymmetry, according to which there is a strong moral reason not to create a life that will foreseeably not be worth living, but there is no moral reason to create a life just because it would foreseeably be worth living. Chapter 1 investigates how to reconcile the Procreation Asymmetry with our intuitions about another recalcitrant problem case in population ethics: Derek Parfit's Non-Identity Problem. I show that what (...)
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  • Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence.Peter Unger - 1996 - Philosophy 74 (287):128-130.
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  • The Moral Demands of Affluence.Garrett Cullity - 2005 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 67 (3):598-600.
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  • Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.
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  • What do we owe to distant needy strangers?Richard J. Arneson - unknown
    As an affluent person in a world of needy poor, I should probably do more to aid badly off persons around the globe. Many people subscribe to this thought, which prompts guilt and chagrin. However, the thought readily becomes an extremely demanding vise. If I am contemplating using a few dollars of mine to go to a restaurant and a movie, I might reflect that the money would do more good, yield more moral value, if I refrained from the personal (...)
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  • The Methodology of Positive Economics.Milton Friedman - 1953 - In Essays in Positive Economics. University of Chicago Press. pp. 3-43.
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  • The welfare economics of population.John Broome - 1985 - Social Choice and Welfare 2:221-34.
    Intuition suggests there is no value in adding people to the population if it brings no benefits to people already living: creating people is morally neutral in itself. This paper examines the difficulties of incorporating this intuition into a coherent theory of the value of population. It takes three existing theories within welfare economics - average utilitarianism, relativist utilitarianism, and critical-level utilitarianism - and considers whether they can satisfactorily accommodate the intuition that creating people is neutral.
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