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The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People$
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David Boonin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682935

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682935.001.0001

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Rejecting the Second Premise

Rejecting the Second Premise

(p.52) 3 Rejecting the Second Premise
The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People

David Boonin

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains and critically evaluates those solutions to the non-identity problem that involve rejecting the second premise of the argument that gives rise to the problem. The second premise of the argument endorses the counterfactual account of harm. The solutions considered are therefore based on alternative accounts of harm including other comparative accounts, non-comparative accounts (e.g. Harman and Shiffrin), and accounts that contain both comparative and non-comparative elements (e.g. Hanser). It is argued that no solution that involves rejecting the second premise of the non-identity argument satisfies all three of the criteria that a successful solution to the problem must satisfy.

Keywords:   Hanser, harm, Harman, non-identity problem, Shiffrin

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