Theron Pummer: The Requiring/Justifying Solution to the Non-Identity Problem

Datum: 29 maj 2024
Tid: 10:00-11:45

Venue: Institutet för framtidsstudier, Holländargatan 13, 4th floor, Stockholm, or online.

Research seminar with Theron Pummer, Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews.

Register here

Suppose you can create person X, create different person Y, or create no one at all. Both X and Y would have lives worth living, but X would suffer a significant burden whereas Y would not. The lives would otherwise be relevantly similar. Most share the intuition that it is wrong to create X in cases like this. But why would it be wrong? After all, had you not created X, this person would never have existed. Creating X does not make X worse off than X otherwise would have been. The non-identity problem is the problem of finding a plausible explanation of why it would be nonetheless wrong to create X. In this paper, I present a new solution to the non-identity problem. My solution draws upon the distinction between morally requiring reasons and morally justifying reasons. I argue that the solution explains why it is wrong to create X, accommodates the procreation asymmetry, and avoids antinatalism.

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