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Variabilism is not the solution to the asymmetry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Ethics and Social Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2333-106X
2015 (English)In: Thought: a journal of philosophy, ISSN 2161-2234, Vol. 4, no 1, 1-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to “the asymmetry”, the fact that a future person would have a life not worth living counts against bringing that person into existence but the fact that a future person would have a life worth living does not count in favour of bringing that person into existence. While this asymmetry seems intuitive, it is also puzzling: if we think that it is of moral importance to prevent people from living lives not worth living, shouldn’t we also that it is of moral importance to create people with lives worth living? Melinda Roberts has suggested a view, “Variabilism”, which she argues solves this problem. I argue that Variabilism fails as a solution to the asymmetry. First, Variabilism relies on a particular distinction between gains and losses which is at least as puzzling as the asymmetry itself. Second, in some cases Variabilism is incompatible with the asymmetry. In these cases, the fact that a person would have a life worth living does count in favour of creating her.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 4, no 1, 1-9 p.
Keyword [en]
Harm, Benefit, Asymmetry, Variabilism, Melinda Roberts
National Category
Ethics
Research subject
Practical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-252451DOI: 10.1002/tht3.151OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-252451DiVA: diva2:810490
Available from: 2015-05-07 Created: 2015-05-07 Last updated: 2015-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tht3.151/abstract

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Algander, Per

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