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Jake Nebel (NYU): “An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox”

11 October, 5:00 pm7:00 pm

Abstract: I present a new problem for those of us who wish to avoid Parfit’s repugnant conclusion. The problem is an intrapersonal, risky analogue of Parfit’s mere addition paradox. I present the problem, consider and reject some solutions, and conclude by stating my preferred solution. The problem is important for three reasons. First, it highlights new conditions at least one of which must be rejected in order to avoid the repugnant conclusion. Some solutions to Parfit’s original puzzle do not obviously generalize to our intrapersonal puzzle in a plausible way. Second, it raises new concerns about how to make decisions under uncertainty for the sake of people whose existence might depend on what we do. Different answers to these questions suggest different solutions to the extant puzzles in population ethics. And, third, the problem suggests new difficulties for leading views about the value of a person’s life compared to her nonexistence.

Jake Nebel a PhD candidate in the Philosophy Department at New York University.





11 October
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Event Category:


LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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