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The world destruction argument
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
Number of Authors: 12019 (English)In: Inquiry, ISSN 0020-174X, E-ISSN 1502-3923Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The most common argument against negative utilitarianism is the world destruction argument, according to which negative utilitarianism implies that if someone could kill everyone or destroy the world, it would be her duty to do so. Those making the argument often endorse some other form of consequentialism, usually traditional utilitarianism. It has been assumed that negative utilitarianism is less plausible than such other theories partly because of the world destruction argument. So, it is thought, someone who finds theories in the spirit of utilitarianism attractive should not go for negative utilitarianism, but should instead pick traditional utilitarianism or some other similar theory such as prioritarianism. I argue that this is a mistake. The world destruction argument is not a reason to reject negative utilitarianism in favour of these other forms of consequentialism, because there are similar arguments against such theories that are at least as persuasive as the world destruction argument is against negative utilitarianism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Negative utilitarianism, consequentialism, utilitarianism, killing, replacement
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173113DOI: 10.1080/0020174X.2019.1658631ISI: 000483249300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173113DiVA, id: diva2:1357713
Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-10-04

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