A fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction

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Abstract

According to the person-affecting restriction, one distribution of welfare can be better than another only if there is someone for whom it is better. Extant problems for the person-affecting restriction involve variable-population cases, such as the nonidentity problem, which are notoriously controversial and difficult to resolve. This paper develops a fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction. The problem reveals that, in the presence of incommensurable welfare levels, the person-affecting restriction is incompatible with minimal requirements of impartial beneficence even in fixed-population contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2779-2787
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume177
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Incommensurability
  • Person-affecting restriction
  • Population ethics

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