The Affirmative Answer to the Existential Question and the Person Affecting Restriction
Publication year: 2015
in: Weighing and Reasoning. Themes from the Philosophy of John Broome, Eds.Iwao Hirose and Andrew Reisner, Oxford University Press.
The person affecting restriction states that one outcome can only be better than another if it is better for someone. The existential question concerns whether existence can be better or worse for a person than non-existence, the personal value of existence. According to the affirmative answer, existence can be better or worse than non-existence for a person. This chapter discusses the implications of the restriction and the affirmative answer to the existential question for population ethics, the value of future generations, and especially for the possibility of avoiding the so-called repugnant conclusion, an undesirable implication of classical utilitarianism.