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The intuition of neutrality and consequentialist thinking: potential antinatalist implications
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Ethics and Social Philosophy.
2013 (English)In: SpringerPlus, E-ISSN 2193-1801, Vol. 2, 99Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many people seem to share some version of what has been called the “intuition of neutrality” aboutcreating new people, which, roughly, says that there exists a certain range of levels of well-beingsuch that creating people within this range is, in itself, morally neutral, but creating people with alevel of well-being outside this range is not morally neutral. In this paper, I will discuss differentinterpretations of this intuition, and specifically distinguish between what I will call counterfactualinterpretations and Do-interpretations of the intuition. I will argue that it is hard to interpret theintuition in a way that does not give rise to antinatalist moral reasons, i.e. reasons favoring an emptyfuture population, when it comes to choices of social policy. In particular, this holds if we assume aconception of relevant outcomes of actions reflecting consequentialist moral intuitions. In the end, I will formulate a normative principle of welfare promotion which I argue respects the most plausiblecounterfactual version of the neutrality intuition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. Vol. 2, 99
Keyword [en]
Intuition of neutrality, Population ethics, Necessitarianism, Antinatalism, Consequentialism
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Practical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196589DOI: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-99ISI: 000209461900099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-196589DiVA: diva2:610391
Available from: 2013-03-11 Created: 2013-03-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Pettersson, Karl

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