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by: Kenton Grimes


Kenton Grimes

GPA 3.7

Michael Huemer

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Michael Huemer
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This 30 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenton Grimes on Friday October 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 6100 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Michael Huemer in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see /class/232152/phil-6100-university-of-colorado-at-boulder in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Colorado at Boulder.




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Date Created: 10/30/15
Phil 6100 Notes 1 Obligations to Future People Parfit The NonIdentity Problem 3 kinds ofchoices 1 Xamejjemon eboz39eex in which the same people will exist regardless of how one acts Most moral theory has discussed these 2 D erentjjeople eboz39eex in which different people will exist depending on one s actions Two varieties a Jamie numker eboz39eex where you have different people but the same number ofpeople b Dg erent numker eboz39eex where you have different numbers ofpeople The Nonildentity Problem How should we make saIneinumber choices In particular does it make a moral difference that different people would exist See exaInples below The Future Persons Paradox This is an argument for the counterintuitive conclusion that we have no obligations to future generations Parfit seeks to avoid this Premises A The timeidependence claim If any particular person had not been conceived at about the time they were in fact conceived then they would never have existed B An action is wrong only ifit harms someone C An action harms a person only if they would have been better off had the action not been performed D Noniexistent people cannot be harmed Conclusion We have fewer obligations to future generations than previously thought see below The 74jearioldgz39rl This girl wants to have a baby If she has a baby now the baby will be much worse off than if she waited several years However the child will still have a life worth living The girl decides to have a baby now Q Is her action wrong Why Ail1731071011 the future persons paradox 1 An action is wrong only if it harms someone other than the agent 2 The 147yeariold girl s action harms no one other than herself For a It does not harm her child since her child would not have existed otherwise The Time Dependence Claim b It does not harm the child she would have had since that child doesn t exist 3 Therefore her action is not wrong Depletion Assume that we society have a choice of two policies Depletion and Conservation If we choose Depletion we will have slightly better lives for the next 200 years as a result ofconsuming natural resources more quickly After that time people will have 771mb lower quality of life due to the depletion of resources If we choose Conservation we will have less benefit now but future generations after 200 years from now will be much better off Suppose we choose Depletion Q Is our choice wrong Why An Agummt the future persons paradox 1 A policy is wrong only if it harms someone 2 Our policy harms no one For a It doesn t harm anyone existing now or in the next 200 years b It does not harm people existing after that time The TimeiDependence Claim c It does not harm the people who would have existed ifwe chose Conservation 3 Therefore the policy is not wrong ijettz39on 7 Perhaps we have an obligation to produce good We act wrongly by not producing the betterioff people Proklem This means the girl acts wrongly if she merely fails to have a child ijettz39on 2 Perhaps people have rights to a certain level of wellbeing Perhaps we act wrongly by creating people whose rights won t be satisfied Prokleim 1 These people would probably waive their supposed right 2 Suppose the people s wellibeing will be above the level that they have a right to but still not as great as would otherwise be the case See Parfit s Lesser Depletion exaInple 3 This implies that it would have been better to produce no one at all eg sterilize everyone after adopting Depletion Parfit s View lfin either oftwo possible outcomes the saIne number ofpeople would ever live it would be worse if those who live are worse off than those who would have lived He does not say however whether we are oklz39gated to produce the better outcome And this would be hard to defend for 1 The 147yriold girl has at least 3 options a Have a child in several years who will have a good start in life b Have a child now who will have a poor start c Have no child 2 c is permissible 3 is better than 4 Therefore should also be permissible At least cannot be wrong merely because it is worse than a Discuss ls Parfifs implicit account of harm correct Premise C How else might harm be defined The argument can be reformulated in terms of better and worse rather than in terms of obligation Is the personiaffecting principle correct What else might be wrong with the argument Phil 6100 Notes 2 The Continuum Argument against Transitivity Rachels I Background Stuart Rachels Philosophy prof at U7Alabama Tuscaloosa Son of James Rachels Former instructor at CU7Boulder Original source of this argument which made Larry Temkin famous Transitiviy IfA is better than B and B is better than C then A is better than C This is very widely accepted in ethics decision theory amp common sense Often treated as a non7substantive logical principle But that is wrong It is a highly plausible first7 order axiological principle The Continuum Argument against Transitivity A set of possible experiences E1 1 year of ecstasy E2 10 years of slightly less intense pleasure E3 100 years of slightly less intense pleasure E100 1099 years ofbarely noticeable pleasure An argument 1 For each n En1 is better than E 2 But E100 is worse than E1 3 Therefore kette tbzm is non7transitive Similar argument for pains Parfifs second paradox is another alleged counter7exaInple Ill Explanations for NonTransitivity When different factors are relevant in comparing A to B and B to C When quantitative differences add up to qualitative differences IV Consequences Value is not quantitative V Objections Transitivity built into the meaning of better than 7 This is like the claim that absolute simultaneity is built into our concept of time Discuss What is his point here What is he assuming you believe about simultaneity Is this a correct analogyP Transitivity is intuitively obvious 7 Beliefin transitivity is based on induction It can be undermined by a single counter7exaInple The argument is just a Sorites paradox 7 Sorites arguments Each step seemingly makes no difference to the application ofa concept 7 This argument is not of the Sorites type The scenarios are too unrealistic 7 We have clear intuitions about them 7 They are physically possible though improbable lfwe change the time ofthe pain to 3 seconds it seems that some long period ofmild discomfort is worse than 3 seconds of agony 7 Rachels doubts this 7 Also consider 3 seconds of some physically possible pain that is worse than anything anyone has ever experienced VI Error Theories Inability to grasp long time periods This could be partially remedied by making all the time periods in the eXaInple shorter Similarity7based decision7making Judgments based on emotional reactions Phil 6100 Notes 3 The SelfTorturer Quinn I The SelfTorturer The torture device has a series of settings 0 No electric current 0 1 Undetectable electric current 10000 2 Unnoticeably greater current 20000 1000 Agonizing electric current 10000000 An intransitivity 7 The Self7Torturer ST rationally prefers 1 to 0 2 to 1 etc The ST can t tell the difference in electric current between 71 and n1 Unnoticeable changes in pain are not bad or are not real changes at all 10000 is always good 7 But the ST prefers 0 over 1000 10 million isn t enough money to make up for permanent a 7 Hence the ST has intransitive preferences An argument for value intransitivity 1 The ST is rational and has intransitive preferences 2 If a rational being prefers X to y then X is better than y 3 So better7than is intransitive Objections amp Replies The ST s preferences change So he s not rational His evaluation of stage 1000 changes when he is at 999 7 Not true He always prefers 1000 over 999 Ignoring behavioral changes Maybe ST doesn t intro spectively notice a change in pain but there are behavioral differences 7 Assume there are no behavioral differences either The ST s discomfort7index must increase at some point from 0 to some positive number 7 No because discomfort level is indeterminate Triangulation You can tell that s3 is worse than s2 because s3 239 introspettz39wb worse than 57 but s2 isn t 7 Make the voltage increments small enough that s3 isn t introspectively worse than s1 either ST s preferences reverse There is a first setting such that he prefers that setting over 0 7 Appeal to indeterminacy again ST has paradoxical preferences or judgments They create a Sorites paradox s1 feels the same as s2 which feels the same as s3 But s1 doesn t feel the same as S1000 He shouldn t rely on such paradoxical pre ferencesjudgments for decision7making 7 Bizarre to suggest that he shouldn t rely on judgments about his comfort level in deciding what to do Ill Quinn s Solution The ST should imagine a filtered series he groups together collections of smges 7 He chooses the most fine7grained ltered series such that his preferences are transitive 7 He selects the best member ofthat series 7 Advantages ofthis Gets him some advantage but avoids the unacceptable outcome of smge 1000 7 This doesn t get him the best choice because there is no best choice because ofintransitivity Once he gets to that smge he stops 7 Why not go just one step more 7 Because his earlier plan was rational and he has gotten no new information IV quot 39 39 Q s quot u Iquot 1 39 2 C t 2 Assumptions That there cannot be an unnoticeable increase in pain Why assume this Q s need for indeterminacy 1 Assume that apart from money s1 is exactly as bad as s0 but s1000 is worse than s0 2 There is a first stage n such that s7 is worse than s0 3 s7 is worse than sn77 This is because s7 is worse than s0 whereas sn77 isn t 7 This refutes Quinn s contention that no stage is worse than the immediately preceding stage 7 To avoid this Quinn relies on indeterminacy there is no first stage that is worse than s0 lndeterminacy rejection of LEM 7 Suppose that for each 7 s7 is either worse than s0 or not worse than s0 Then obviously there is a first 71 that is worse Since there are only finitely many is in the series 7 So Quinn has to reject Excluded Middle 7 Note that three truth7values won t be enough Suppose that for each 7 s7 is either worse than s0 ii not worse or iii neither worse nor non7worse indeterminate Then again there must be a first s71 that is worse In nitely many truth7values don t work either There would still have to be a first 71 such that s7 is worse than s0 has a truth value other than false It is false when 710 7 It is unclear how to make this coherent Rejection ofLEM rejection of LNC N s7 is worse than s0 and sn is not worse than s0 is ofthe form Nny amp NNny Phil 6100 Notes 4 Arguments for Transitivity I The Money Pump 1 Assume that A is better than B which is better than C which is better than A 2 Possibly some rational being always rationally prefers the better oftwo options Premise 3 A rational being acts on the basis of his rational preferences Premise 4 Therefore there could be a rational being who prefers A to B B to C and C to A and acts on the basis of those preferences From 1 2 3 5 IfS prefers A to B B to C and C to A and acts on the basis of those preferences then S would act as a money pump ie 7 S would trade A plus a small amount ofmoney for C 7 S would trade C plus a small amount ofmoney for B 7 S would trade B plus a small amount ofmoney for A 7 Etc Premise 6 So there could be a rational being who would act as a money pump From 4 5 7 But there could not be a rational being who would act as a money pump Premise 8 Therefore it is not the case that A is better than B which is better than C which is better than A From 177 reductio Rachels denies 3 He says a rational being would refrain from acting on the basis of his preferences in one special circumstance when doing so would result in being a money pump The Dominance Argument The Dominante Prinnple Suppose X1 gty1 X2gty2 Xngtyn Then the combination of the X s is better than the combination ofthe y s 7 Qualifications the X s do not form an organic unity etc They are independent Or if they do form an organic unity then the y s also form one in the same way IWg eXZITZbl Nothing is better than itself fly771771610 IfX gt y then y is not better than X Two dominance arguments First argumentAssume E1 lt E2 lt E3 lt lt E100 lt E1 7 Compare XE1E3E99 yE2E4E100 7 y comes out better than X 7 Now compare X E1 E3 E99 yE100E2E98 7 X comes out better than y 7 This violates Asymmetry 36mm argument Assume agtbgtcgta 7 Compare X abc bca 7 X is better than y Dominance 7 This violates Irre fleXiVity Phil 6100 Notes 5 Transitivity amp Population Temkin versus Norcross I Temkin Said World A World A World B PemonA ttz39ng P nnj le X is better than y only ifx is better than yfor someone Using PAP 1 B is better than A 2 A is as good as A 3 But B is better than A B is worse than A PAP counterexample to transitivity Norcross Says Step 3 B lt A if starting from A But B gt A if starting from B Isn t this a contradiction Must relativize A is Abetter than B But B is also Bbetter than A No counterfeXaInple 1 B is Bbetter than A 2 A is Aequal to A 3 B is Abetter than A We would need for 1 B is Abetter than A What does B is Abetter than A mean 7 Better for the Aipeople No because then B is not Abetter than A 7 If you move from A to B then to A the second change is bad No because then B is Abetter than A Alternative interpretation A B and A are possible smtes that could all evolve from the present None evolves from any of the others Then 1 A is better than B 2 B is better than A 3 But A is better than A Argument against the PAP 1 Great is better than OK 2 But PAP says neither is better 3 So PAP is false Great 0k E 7 Temkin says PAP fails only for different7people choices 7 Consider another comparison Fred Great Fred 0k E 7 Ok Fred isn t better than GreatFred So PAP is false when some of the people are different 7 These are the sort of cases in which Temkin tries to apply the PAP eg A versus A Ill Temkin Replies all things considered better Abetter OR Bbetter OR etc So when we have 1 B is Bbetter than A 2 A is Aequal to A 3 B is Abetter than A this is a counter7eXample to transitivity ofbetter7than Norcross rejects this because it violates Asymmetry A is Abetter than B B is Bbetter than A So A is all7things7considered better than B and B is all7things7considered better than A Essentially Comparative View ofbetterness All7things7considered betterness depends on the starting point But this does not make it mere Abetterness or Bbetterness 7 lfwe smrt from A move to A then move to B the two moves are each improvements but the move from A to B isn t 7 This is a violation of transitivity 7 Discuss Or is the conclusion rather that it depends on whether you move from A to B directly or by going through A Response to argument against PAP 7 Maybe PAP applies in some cases when some of the people are different but not in others Discuss Philosophical methodology Who has the burden ofproof How much generalization should be ascribed to a principle Does Temkin s reply render PAP unfalsifiableP Even if we restrict PAP we might get intransitivity anyway Maybe PAP is relevant in comparing AandCbutnotforAampB orB ampC 7 People who accept PAP only as a special case ofthe principle ofutility needn t worry 7 But many people think PAP is an independent consideration Three comparisons World A World B I World A World B H l World A World B III E 7 In all three cases total utility is higher in A 7 Many people would nd it more obvious that A is better than B in case III This sugests that the PAP is an independent factor beyond total utility Phil 6100 Notes 6 Utilitarianism amp New Generations Narveson Q Suppose that ifwe produced a person that person would be happy Is that a reason to produce a person I No reason to make happy people Fz39rxt argument 1 We have reason to create happy people only if happy people ought to be created 2 x ought to be created is never true lfx exists then he s already been born lfx doesn t exist then x doesn t refer 3 Therefore it is not the case that happy people ought to be created 4 So we have no reason to create happy people 1 emnd argument 1 We have reason to do X only ifx would benefit someone 2 Making happy people without affecting the original people benefits no one The existing people are by hypothesis no better off The new people are not benefitted for a A benefits S only ifS is better off as a result ofA than S would be ifA did not occur b lfS did not exist S would have no welfare level not even 0 c So no one can be better off at any time than S would be ifS did not exist d So S cannot be better off as a result ofbeing created than S would be if S were not created 3 Therefore we have no reason to make happy people without affecting the original people Third argument 1 We ought to create happy people only ifwe are obligated to create more obligations Once they are created we ll be obliged to benefit them 2 We have no obligation to create obligations 3 So it is not the case that we ought to create happy people II We should not create unhappy people Argument 1 We should not act in such a way that an obligation of ours will be unfulfilled 2 If someone is suffering we have an obligation to alleviate the suffering 3 Therefore we ought not to act so that there will be a suffering person whose suffering we fail to alleviate So we should not create a person we know will suffer Corollay 4 We should not act in such a way that an obligation of ours will be unfulfilled 5 Suppose that we have a duty to make people as happy as possible 6 Then we ought not to create any person who won t be as happy as possible 7 Therefore we shouldn t create anyone Discuss How confused is this How does Narveson understand utilitarianism What does he think as happy as possible means ijeitian 2 is false We only need tg to alleviate the suffering Narveson says this 70 7 Therefore we may create unhappy people as long as we tg to alleviate their suffering 7 Later he says that a person will be suffering and we male bare prevented this Is he shifting from premise 1 to something else A related argument 8 We should not act in such a way that someone will have an unsatisfied right 9 People have a right not to suffer 10 Therefore we should not create a person who will suffer Discuss This argument is not Narveson s Which one is better Does this mean we should not create anyone What ifpeople have a right to have at least a cermin level greater than zero ofwelfare How does this affect the argument Ill Objections Narveson s combination of I and H above seems inconsistent Narveson does not explain why it might not be that we have a reason to bring about good states of affairs The prudential analogy 1 You have prudential reason to do X only ifX will benefit you 2 Prolonging your life will not benefit you a A will benefit S only ifS will be better off as a result ofA than S will be ifA does not occur b lfyour life does not continue you will have no future welfare level not even 0 c So you cannot be better off at any time than you would be ifyou did not eXist d So you cannot be better off as a result ofprolonging your life 3 Therefore you have no prudential reason to prolong your life 7 Here the analogy is betweenJaar welfare at a time whenJaa don t exist and apersart s welare in a passiale world where they don t exist 7 This is an Epicurean sophistry Phil 6100 Notes 7 Defence of Repugnance Huemer I Basic Ideas The Repugmmt Comlmz39on Given any population of happy people it would be better to have a population consisting ofa sufficient number ofpeople with lives barely worth living Total Utilzy Primzple The value of a population its total utility Total utility the sum of all individuals welfare levels Average Utilzy Primzple The value of a population its average welfare level Average utility Total utility divided by population size Pareto Primzple If X would be preferred to y by everyone who exists in either world then X is better than y Tran tiviy le is better than y and y is better than 2 then X is better than 2 NonAntzlEgalz39tmz39am39m If X has a higher total utility higher average utility and more equality than y then X is better than y Intuitive idea equality isn t bad Quali cation for all these principles Only value derived from allocation ofutility is considered All other factors held equal The Benign Addition Argument World A World A World Z 101 100 1 1 1 99 100 Total Utility 100 Total Utility 200 Total Utility 300 Average 100 Average 2 Average 1 A better than A Pareto 2 Z better than A Noniantiiegalitarianism 3 Therefore Z better than A Transitivity Ill Revising Intuitions Some signs that an intuition should be revised Conflicts with firm widespread other intuitions Multiple lines of argument against it Bare intuition no further grounds for it Plausible error theory Natural theoretical explanation for contrary view IV Error Theories lnuitions biased against RC because of Egoz39xtz39t Bz39m We evaluate worlds by which we want to occupy Large Numoem Bz39m We treat all large numbers as the saIne Compounding XmollNumoem We fail to appreciate how small quantities add up to large ones Underwriting LouQuolz39y Lives 7 We may imagine low7utility lives as being worse than they are 7 We may have difficulty picturing low7quality lives distinguishing them from slightly lower quality lives IV Failure of NonRepugnant Theories Some theories of population axiology designed to avoid RC Average Utility Principle Problem The Sadistic Conclusion Sometimes it is better to create some unhappy people rather than create some happy people Critical Level theories Problem The Strong Sadistic Conclusion Given any world of tormented people it would be worse to have a world full of a sufficiently large number ofpeople with slightly good lives The Person7Affecting Principle Problem It would be good to create a billion horribly tormented people ifit would slightly increase some existing person s welfare Variable Value Theories Problems 7 Ng amp Hurka Sadistic conclusion for large populations Theory approximates Avg Util for large populations 7 Sider Anti7egalimrianism 7 All versions The Egyptology Objection whether you should have children could depend on how the ancient Egyptians fared andor how many there were Perfectionism Problems 7 Anti7egalitarian 7 Posits infinite value gap where there are continuous variations in quality Lexicality Rachels Temkin Problems 7 Discussed in earlier class Enmils intransitivity lntuitions shift depending on the lengths of the experiences in their exaInples Etc Theoretical motivation for these theories To avoid RC V The Actualist Bias We have an actualist bias we count the interests of actual people more than those of potential people This must be wrong Whether A is better than B cannot depend on which is actual Our judgments about actual people are correct So we should count potential people s interests just as much as actual people s This favors increasing population even at some cost to average utility for existing people This isn t much ofa positive argument for RC It s more ofan attack on a bias that I think confuses people when thinking about RC VI The Equivalence Argument World F World G 20 10 Sue D Sue 5 min 10 min gt Time gt Time World H World I 10 10 Sue D Sue D 5 5 10 10 Mary a Mary E 5 5 gt Time Time 1 FZG 2 GZH Sue s five minutes in H Sue s first five minutes in G Sue s five minutes in H Mary s five minutes in H Additivity 3 H l 4 Therefore F l This supports the Total Utility Principle l trades off avg utility vs population VII More Is Better 1 More happy lives are better 7 Spacetime symmetry 7 The pleasurepain symmetry 7 Sub7argument a Existence at level x2 is at least as good as non7existence b Existence at level x is better than x2 c Therefore existence at x is better than non7existence This holds for all xgt0 2 The value of happy lives does not diminish with an upper bound 7 No reason to posit diminishing value of utility Contrast reasons for diminishing value of instrumental goods 7 Avoiding the Absurd Conclusion viz That for some n nunhappy lives 71 million happy lives is bad 3 If happy lives have nonidiminishing value then RC is true 4 Therefore RC is true VIII The Case for Revision As suggested above we should revise an intuition when It con icts with rm widespread other intuitions There are multiple lines ofargument against it It is a bare intuition no further grounds for it We have a plausible error theory We have a natural theoretical explanation for a contrary view S gtP E t IX Practical Implications The Total Utility Pr does not imply that you should keep having children as long as their utility is positive Their impact on other people s utility may be negative amp outweigh their own utility The best world will not be a lowiaverage world It will have the maximum value of Average Utility Population This will have a moderately high Avg Util amp a moderately high Pop Phil 6100 Notes 8 Incommensurability amp lncomparability Chang I Incommensurability vs lncomparability Imommerzsumoiliy When there is no precise evaluative ratio between X and y X is not better than y by any speci c aInount Aigzmientsfor imommensumoiliy Beaches love and civil rights have no monetary value Consequemes We cannot do costibene t analysis with these things We must reject maximizing consequentialism Imompomoiliy X and y are incomparable with respect to covering value V iff for every positive value relation relativized to V it is not true that it holds between them Notes This allows for indeterminacy Also allows for more than three positive value relations All comparisons are relative to a covering value Positive Value Relations X is better than y X is worse than y X is eXactly as good as y X and y are on a par roughly equal Practical Import of lncomparability Comporitivism justi cation ofchoice always depends on value comparison Two arguments for comparitivism First mgzmient Assume a A and B are incomparable b you have A c a choice between A and B can be justi ed d A is slightly worse than A You trade A for B This could be rational You then trade B for A This seemingly could be rational But it is irrational to trade A for A Ifchoices between incomparables can be justi ed then you could rationally trade A for B and you could rationally trade B for A Premise Ifit is rational to do X and given that one does X it is rational to do Y then it is rational to do both Premise Therefore if choices between incomparables can be justi ed then you could rationally trade A for B and B for A From 1 2 TradingA for A direit is no more or less rational than trading A for A indirectly through some N 9 gt 17 intermediary step Premise 5 Therefore if choices between incomparables can be justified then you could rationally trade A for A From 3 4 6 You cannot rationally trade A for A Premise 7 Therefore choices between incomparables cannot be justified From 5 6 Xeeouol argument Assume that A and B are incomparable but we choose A based on some principle P Why doesn t this imply that A is at least as good as B with respect to satisfying P Inductive argument The justifying force of any reason seems to depend on a comparison of alternatives 7 I choose to go out to dinner because it ll be fun Doesn t this require that going out to dinner will be more fun than grading papers 7 I become a lawyer rather than a philosopher because that choice expresses my understanding ofwhat matters in life Doesn t this imply that the lawyer career is at least oxgoool with respect to expressing that understanding 7 I do X because of a duty to keep a promise X must be at least as good with respect to fulfilling the duty ofpromise7keeping Ill Selected Arguments for lncomparability A The Divem39g of Values Some values are too different to be compared Mozart amp Michelangelo Reply 7 Talentlessi is worse than Mozart 7 lfx is comparable with Mozart then something slightly better than X on a continuum is comparable with Mozart 7 There is a continuous series of painters Talentlessi Talentlessi etc leading from Talentlessi to Michelangelo 7 Therefore Michelangelo is comparable with Mozart B Rutz39ouol wexolmoz39lz39g Sometimes we have no rational grounds for comparing X and Y Reply Assumes verificationism which is stupid C Multiple Ranking A covering value may be vague 7 On some precisifications A comes out better than B On others B comes out better than A 7 Then A and B are incomparable Reply In spite of this A and B might be nearly equal Therefore how can they be incomparable D Xmoll Improvements Example 7 Clarinetist career no better or worse than lawyer career 7 Clarinetist career 10 still no better or worse than lawyer career 7 Therefore the two are not equally good either 7 So they must be incomparable Reply 1 This is only an epistemic problem We are not justi ed in saying that the one career is no better or worse than another only that we don t know which is better 7 Counter7reply This requires revising intuitive judgments Does it Reply 2 Introduce a fourth relation parity the two careers are on a par IV The Nature of Parity Differences can be 7 zero or nonzero 7 biased or unbiased biased X is 3 feet longer than y unbiased London amp Glasgow are 345 miles apart Maybe there are unbiased nonzero evaluative differences 7 They are not incomparable because incomparability no difference 7 Instead they are on a par Discuss 7 lfparity is being roughly equal are there other relations roughly twice as good roughly 3 times as good etc 7 How does this view fit with the vagueness idea in ULC above 7 If we accept the vagueness theory could there be cases where A is not determinately better than worse than equal to nor on 51pmquot with B Phil 6100 Notes 9 NonArchimedean Value Theories amp Risk Huemer NonArchimedean Theories NomArtbz39medmn Thesis There is some practical reason R and some good G such that R outweighs any quantity of G Two kinds ofnon7archimedean theories 7 Absolute deontological Nozick Anscombe Kant 7 Axiological Mill Par t Rachels sanctity oflife Preliminaries about Reasons Internal reason Makes it rational to act Contains subject s beliefsknowledgeevidence External reason Would provide internal reason if subject knew ofit Interpret the non7Arch thesis to apply to 7 Internal reasons 7 in cases of certainty about outcomes amp circumstances Higher remain Reasons that have categorically greater force than Ill Problem of Risk Assume 7 A will promote some large quantity of G 7 A has a probabilityp of transgressing a higher reason R For what values ofp is A permissible Three views 7 Zero Risk Tolerance 7 Maximal Risk Tolerance 7 Risk Threshold Some examples 7 The re truck and the child in the road 7 The judge amp the innocent defendant 7 Oxfam vs the struggling artist IV Zero Risk Tolerance Problem Normal life becomes impossible Examples 7 The re truck Driving is impermissible 7 The judge Criminal justice system must be abolished 7 Oxfam vs struggling artist Must devote all resources to artists V Maximal Risk Tolerance Problem renders the view uninteresting Nothing is certain VI Risk Threshold Problem violates Two Rngtx Don t Mal66A Wrong If S may do A whether or not S does B and S may do B whether or not S does A then S may do A and B Illustration Sup ose risk threshold is 6 Action Risk Payoff A 5 1 million B 5 1 million AB 75 2 million 7 The fire truck 7 The judge 7 OXfam amp the artist VII Double Effect Etc DDE Absolutely impermissible harms intended as an end or a means Sometimes permissible harms as a merely foreseen side effect Maybe this avoids the problem Reply 7 We are not absolutely certain of our intentions 7 The DDE requires a justified7belief condition not merely intention You have justi ed belief that someone is innocent We can then ask what the degree ofjustification must be VIII Conclusion Adopt an Archimedean theory This includes 7 Smndard consequentialist theories 7 Moderate deontological theories Ross What evidence favors non7Archimedean theories Phil 6100 Notes 10 NonEgalitarianism The Temporal Argument Huemer Basic Concepts amp Principles Come nquot UZz39Zz39Qs The integral of level of wellbeing welfare over time Tom UZz39Zz39Qs The sum of the utilities of various individuals in a society UZZZZQJValue The value resulting solely from the allocation of utility including both what the total utility is and how it is distributed Egalz39z mmz39ym Equality in the distribution of utility across persons has intrinsic value Comeqmme If two worlds have the same total utility the world if any with a more even distribution of utility has more utility value Prz39 ajbley Im mpermml N a Egalz39z mz39am39ym It doesn t matter how utility is distributed wit9M a life Strong Supemmz39eme The utility value of an event supervenes on its qualitative character TeapomlAddz z z ng When A and B are events in disjoint time periods the value of AB I the value ofA the value of B N Central Argument Time World 1 World 2 World 3 A t 2 VZb 50 100 V3b O O t 1 V1 75 75 V2 V3 100 50 VZa 100 50 V3a O O t 0 A B A B A B Figure 7 The vertical dimension on the page represents time The width of the bars indicates the level of well being that each individual enjoys the height of the bars indicates duration Total utility enjoyed during a period of an individual s life is the area of the bar representing that period 22 1 V1 I V2 Given Intrapersonal Non egalitarianism etc 2 V2a I V3a From Strong Supervenience of Utility Value 3 V3a I V3b From Strong Supervenience of Utility Value 4 V2a I V2b From Equal Consideration of Interests 5 V2b I V3b From 2 3 4 6 V2a V2b I V3a V3b From 2 5 7 V2 I V221 V2b From Cross Temporal Additivity 8 V3 I V321 V3b From Cross Temporal Additivity 9 V2 I V3 From 6 7 8 10 V1 I V3 From 1 9 III For Temporal Additivity Egalitarian might deny Temporal Additivity Inequality okwbm does not add over time But egalitarian should not deny Temporal Additivity 01691 on this ground if there is an independent argument for it Three Worldy Time World 4 World 2 z 2 A V4b 100 V2b 50 100 O O I 1 V4 V2 V4a 100 50 V2a 100 50 O O t 0 A B A B Figure 8 World 4 contains more total utility than world 2 but not enough more to compensate for the interpersonal inequality in world 4 23 Some Cboz39te Proklemx Problem 1 Problem 2 2b 2a4a 2b 2a4a 2a4a 4b Three C omequmtz39alz39xt Demion Ruler i Choose the action such that ifyou choose it the world will be best ii Choose the action with the best consequences iii Choose the action such that ifyou choose it the future will be best An Agummt If Temporal Additivity fails then the above situations are possible If so then in problem 1 you should choose world 4b Choice rules ii iii And in problem 2 you should choose world 2 Choice rules ii iii Problems 1 and 2 should have the same solution Therefore these scenarios are not possible There fore Temporal Additivity holds 999Nt Phil 6100 Notes 11 Against Priority amp Equality The Pareto Argument Huemer I Basic Ideas Egalitarianism Equality in the distribution of utility across persons is intrinsically good Priorig View Bene ts for the worse7off are more important than equal7sized benefits for the better7off In other words there is diminishing marginal value of ntilig for an individual An eXaInple A is much better off than B We can redistribute wealth makingA and B equal This will help B slightly less than it will harm A Administrative costs decreased incentives etc Would this be good Average utility of rst world A B A B 7 Egalitarianism Yes 7 Priority View Yes For different reason A practical application Socialism vs Capitalism Socialism Low productivity less freedom more equality Capimlism High productivity more freedom large inequalities 7 Which is better II The Leveling Down Objection Leveling Dovn Achieving equality by lowering the welfare of the better7off 1 X is good in some respect only ifthere is someone for whom it is good in some respect Premise the Person Affecting Principle If equality is intrinsically good then Leveling Down is good in one respect Premise But Leveling Down is good for no one Premise So Leveling Down is not good in any respect From 1 3 So equality is not intrinsically good From 2 4 959 For the Priorig View The Priority View gives results very similar to Egalitarianism But it completely avoids the Leveling Down Objection Ill Premises The Benign Addz39lz39on Pnnnjjle Other things being equal ifpossible worlds X and are so related that Xwould be the result ofincreasing the utility of everyone in and adding some number of people all ofwhom have valuable lives then X is better than The Unrangnant Preinz39xe Other things being equal if possible worlds X and are both perfectly egalimrian X has a larger population than but X has both a lower average utility and a lower total utility than then Xis worse than1 Tmm my le is better than and is better than 239 then X is better than z IV Three Possible Worlds World A World B World A 101 102 50 1 1 m 2 m 1 m 1 m Total utility 101 m Total utility 100 m Total utility 103 m Average 101 Average 50 Average 515 Figure 11 Graphical depiction of worlds A B and C The width of each bar represents a population size the height represents a level ofwellibeing Argument 1 A is better than B From the Unrepugnant Premise 2 A is better than A From the Benign Addition Principle 3 A is better than B From 1 2 and Transitivity 4 Egalitarianism and the Priority View are false From 3 C oininent Step 3 directly shows that the eXtra 3 points of total utility 15 points of average utility outweighs the inequality in world A This form of argument can be repeated for arbitrarily small increments in utility Hence the value of equality is zero 1An egalitarian world is a world in which utility is evenly distributed across persons V In Defense of Benign Addition Benign Addition is supported by The PanFlo Przmzjjle lfone possible world would be preferred over another by everyone existing in either world then the former world is better than the latter VI In Defense of the Unrepugnant Premise This principle is accepted by everyone in population ethics 7 Follows from Average Utility Principle 7 Follows from Total Utility Principle 7 Follows from any principle anywhere in between Endorsed even by those who accept the repugnant conclusion VII In Defense of Transitivity The Money Pump Suppose you have intransitive preferences You prefer A to B B to C and C to A A You presently have A You would be willing 7 to pay a small amount ofmoney to trade A for C 7 to pay a small amount ofmoney to trade C for B to pay a small amount ofmoney to trade B for A CV3 7 etc This seems irrational The Dominante Agument Suppose A is better than B which is better than C which is better than A Consider the values of the following two combinations A B C B C A We can construct an argument that the first combination is better than the second Why It is better with respect to each of the three comparisons A gt B B gt C C gt A This is absurd because the two combinations are the saIne Conclusion The supposition is impossible A cannot be better than B B better than C and yet C better than A Phil 6100 Notes 12 Infinite Value KaganVallentyne I Basic Ideas Lomtiom ofgoodnem may be people spatial or temporal locations etc Aggregatiw tbeoy Makes goodness a function ofvalues at locations Additive tbeoy Aggregates by adding Problem HOW to compare options With in nitely many locations 111 versus 222 Both sums are undefined in standard mathematics We could appeal to nonstandard mathematics Problem does not deal With cases ofunbounded number oflocations Another problem Nonstandard mathematics is crazy One collection could be greater than another although they are intrinsically qualitatively identicalE This might be practically relevant The universe is in nite Here is a silly argument 7 All in nite sums are unde ned 7 The universe is in nite 7 The value ofa possible W0r1d7history is the sum of the values at its locations 7 So the value of any possible history ofthe universe is unde ned 7 So all possible histories are incomparable 7 So there is no consequentialist reason for doing or not doing anything Ill Some Cases amp Principles Accommodating Them First Malaria W1 2 2 2 2 W2 1 1 1 1 W1 is better because better at every location Xeiond Malaria W1 2 2 2 21 2 2 2 2 2 W2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 W1 is better because any nite set oflocations can be expanded so that relative to all further nite expansions W1 has a higher sum over those locations Third Merlini0 W1 5 1 51 51 5 1 W2 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 W1 is better You have to expand in the natural order may not skip over locations Any nite set oflocations can be expanded so that relative to all further iomeited nite expansions W1 has a higher 28 sum This principle requires there to be a natural order Examples spatiotemporal locations Not persons Pom1b Malaria W1 W2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7171717171717171 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7171717171717171 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 W1 seems better Allow only unzfom expansions expansions that expand the same amount in all directions IV A Problem Three Worlds Location P1 P2 P5 P4 P5 P6 P7 W1 Value 5 1 5 1 5 1 5 Location P1 P2 P5 P4 P5 P6 P7 W2 Value 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 Location L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 W3 Value 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 An mgummt 1 W3 is incomparable to W1 On KaganVallentyne s View 2 W3 is equal to W2 Strong supervenience ofValue 3 Therefore W2 is incomparable to W1 From 1 2 Contrary to KaganVallentyne A similar argument can be formulated using II AI of the Values in W1 Location P1 P2 P5 P4 P5 P6 P7 W1 Value 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 Location P1 P2 P5 P4 P5 P6 P7 w1 Value 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 7 Assume w1 results from spatial rearrangement ofthe goods in W1 Then w1 is better than W1 according to KaganVallentyne But w1 is equal to W1 spatial rearrangement does not improve worlds


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