Solving the non-identity problem with conditional obligations
Daniel Cohen (Charles Sturt University)

April 18, 2018, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Video Conference Room (460.4.28), Level 4, 250 Victoria Parade, Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University
Melbourne
Australia

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University of Melbourne
University of Reading (PhD)

Details

Many of us have the intuition that we are obligated, when all else is equal, to create the happier of two non-identical people, if forced to choose between these options. In this paper, I give an account of the difficulties involved in justifying this intuition. The ‘non-identity problem’ is the problem of finding such a justification. Ultimately, I argue that an adequate solution must appeal to conditional obligations. While making sense of conditional obligations itself presents theoretical difficulties, I offer a tentative account sufficient for the purposes of solving the non-identity problem.

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