•  4
    The Repugnant Conclusion
    In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2017.
  •  104
    Population axiology concerns how to evaluate populations in terms of their moral goodness, that is, how to order populations by the relations “is better than” and “is as good as”. The task has been to find an adequate theory about the moral value of states of affairs where the number of people, the quality of their lives, and their identities may vary. So far, this field has largely ignored issues about uncertainty and the conditions that have been discussed mostly pertain to the ranking of risk…Read more
  • Democracy Unbound: Basic Explorations (edited book)
    Stockholm University. Filosofiska institutionen. 2005.
  •  1
    Life Extension versus Replacement in Enhancing Human Capacities
    In Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen & Guy Kahane (eds.), Enhancing Human Capabilites. pp. 368-385. 2011.
    It seems to be a widespread opinion that increasing the length of existing happy lives is better than creating new happy lives although the total welfare is the same in both cases, and that it may be better even when the total welfare is lower in the outcome with extended lives. I shall discuss two interesting suggestions that seem to support this idea. Firstly, the idea there is a positive level of well-being above which a life has to reach to have positive contributive value to a population. T…Read more
  •  1
    Recently, in his Rolf Schock Prize Lecture, Derek Parfit has suggested a novel way of avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion by introducing what he calls “imprecision” in value comparisons. He suggests that in a range of important cases, populations of different sizes are only imprecisely comparable. Parfit suggests that this feature of value comparisons opens up a way of avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion without implying other counterintuitive conclusions, and thus solves one of the major challenges…Read more
  •  1
    The Democratic Boundary Problem Reconsidered
    Ethics, Politics and Society: A Journal in Moral and Political Philosophy 2018 (1): 89-122. 2018.
    Who should have a right to take part in which decisions in democratic decision making? This “boundary problem” is a central issue for democracy and is of both practical and theoretical import. If nothing else, all different notions of democracy have one thing in common: a reference to a community of individuals, “a people”, who takes decision in a democratic fashion. However, that a decision is made with a democratic decision method by a certain group of people doesn’t suffice for making the dec…Read more
  •  1
    Population axiology concerns how to evaluate populations in regard to their goodness, that is, how to order populations by the relations \is better than" and \is as good as". This eld has been riddled with para- doxes and impossibility results which seem to show that our considered beliefs are inconsistent in cases where the number of people and their welfare varies. All of these results have one thing in common, however. They all involve an adequacy condition that rules out Derek Part's Repugna…Read more
  • Vem bör ha rösträtt?
    Tidskrift För Politisk Filosofi 2 (9): 53-70. 2005.
    Vem har rätt att delta i vilka beslut? Det torde vara uppenbart att svaret på denna fråga är en viktig del av en teori om demokrati; ty är det något som alla uppfattningar om demokrati har gemensamt så är det en referens till en mängd individer, ett samhälle eller ett »folk» som är, i någon mening, självstyrande. Därför är det överraskande att inte mycket har skrivits om detta problem i de klassiska verken om demokrati. Som Robert Dahl uttrycker det, »hur man ska avgöra vilka som legitimt utgör …Read more
  •  220
    To the Editor of Theoria
    with Ingar Brinck, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Lena Halldenius, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Folke Tersman, and Åsa Wikforss
    Theoria 77 (3): 198-198. 2011.
  •  1
    Population Axiology
    Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada). 2000.
    This thesis deals with population axiology, that is, the moral value of states of affairs where the number of people, the quality of their lives, and their identities may vary. Since, arguably, any reasonable moral theory has to take these aspects of possible states of affairs into account when determining the normative status of actions, the study of population axiology is of general import for moral theory. ;There has been a search underway for the last thirty years or so for a theory that can…Read more
  •  512
    An impossibility theorem for welfarist axiologies
    Economics and Philosophy 16 (2): 247-266. 2000.
    A search is under way for a theory that can accommodate our intuitions in population axiology. The object of this search has proved elusive. This is not surprising since, as we shall see, any welfarist axiology that satisfies three reasonable conditions implies at least one of three counter-intuitive conclusions. I shall start by pointing out the failures in three recent attempts to construct an acceptable population axiology. I shall then present an impossibility theorem and conclude with a sho…Read more
  •  125
    Fred Feldman has proposed a desert-adjusted version of utilitarianism,, as a plausible population axiology. Among other things, he claims that justicism avoids Derek Parfit's. This paper explains the theory and tries to straighten out some of its ambiguities. Moreover, it is shown that it is not clear whether justicism avoids the repugnant conclusion and that it is has other counter-intuitive implications. It is concluded that justicism is not convincing as a population axiology
  •  11
    On millian discontinuities
    In Wlodek Rabinowicz & Toni Ronnow-Rasmussen (eds.), Patterns of Value - Essays on Formal Axiology and Value Analysis, Lund University Department of Philosophy. 2003.
    Suppose one sets up a sequence of less-and-less valuable objects such that each object in the sequence is only marginally worse than its immediate predecessor. Could one in this way arrive at something that is dramatically inferior to the point of departure? It has been claimed that if there is a radical value difference between the objects at each end of the sequence, then at some point there must be a corresponding radical difference between the adjacent elements. The underlying picture seems …Read more
  •  81
    The Value of Existence
    with Wlodek Rabinowicz
    In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory, Oxford University Press Usa. pp. 424-444. 2015.
    Can it be better or worse for a person to exist than not to exist at all? This old and challenging existential question has been raised anew in contemporary moral philosophy, mainly for two reasons. First, traditional “impersonal” ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, have counterintuitive implications in population ethics, for example, the repugnant conclusion. Second, it has seemed evident to many that an outcome can be better than another only if it is better for someone, and that only mo…Read more
  •  52
    Jan Österberg is one of the pioneers in the field of population ethics. He started thinking about this issue already in the late 60s and he has developed one of the most original and interesting population axiologies.1 I’ve discussed the problems and drawbacks of Österberg’s theory elsewhere, and I don’t think that this is the place and time to discuss them again.2 Rather, I shall show that Österberg’s theory has a feature in common with the population axiologies of such luminaries like Plato, A…Read more
  •  51
    Value Superiority
    In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory, Oxford University Press Usa. pp. 225-248. 2015.
    Suppose that A and B are two kinds of goods such that more of each is better than less. A is strongly superior to B if any amount of A is better than any amount of B. It is weakly superior to B if some amount of A is better than any amount of B. There are many examples of these relations in the literature, sometimes under the labels “higher goods” and “discontinuity.” The chapter gives a precise and generalized statement of Strong and Weak Superiority and discusses different ways in which these …Read more
  •  165
    Population axiology concerns how to evaluate populations in regard to their goodness, that is, how to order populations by the relations “is better than” and “is as good as”. This field has been riddled with “paradoxes” which seem to show that our considered beliefs are inconsistent in cases where the number of people and their welfare varies. Already in Derek Parfit’s seminal contribution to the topic, an informal paradox — the Mere Addition Paradox — was presented and later contributions have …Read more
  •  161
    Value and unacceptable risk
    with Wlodek Rabinowicz
    Economics and Philosophy 21 (2): 177-197. 2005.
    Consider a transitive value ordering of outcomes and lotteries on outcomes, which satisfies substitutivity of equivalents and obeys “continuity for easy cases,” i.e., allows compensating risks of small losses by chances of small improvements. Temkin (2001) has argued that such an ordering must also – rather counter-intuitively – allow chances of small improvements to compensate risks of huge losses. In this paper, we show that Temkin's argument is flawed but that a better proof is possible. Howe…Read more
  •  207
    The paradoxes of future generations and normative theory
    In Torbjörn Tännsjö & Jesper Ryberg (eds.), The Repugnant Conclusion: Essays on Population Ethics, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 201-218. 2004.
    As the title of this paper indicates, I’m going to discuss what we ought to do in situations where our actions affect future generations. More specifically, I shall focus on the moral problems raised by cases where our actions affect who’s going to live, their number and their well being. I’ll start, however, with population axiology. Most discussion in population ethics has concentrated on how to evaluate populations in regard to their goodness, that is, how to order populations by the relation…Read more
  •  91
    Traditional ethical theories have paradoxical implications in regards to questions concerning procreation and our moral duties to future people. It has been suggested that the crux of the problem resides in an all too ‘impersonal’ axiology and that the problems of population axiology can be solved by adopting a ‘Person Affecting Restriction’ which in its slogan form states that an outcome can only be better than another if it is better for people. This move has been especially popular in the con…Read more
  •  99
    The repugnant conclusion
    with Jesper Ryberg and Torbjörn Tännsjö
    The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Online; Last Accessed October 4 2006. 2006.
  •  143
    It has been known for quite a while that traditional ethical theories have very counterintuitive and paradoxical implications for questions concerning procreation and our moral duties to future generations. Classical Utilitarianism, for example, seems to imply that we have a moral duty to procreate and that we should try to have as many off-springs as possible. More disturbingly, it implies Derek Parfit’s well-known Repugnant Conclusion.
  •  74
    Superiority in Value
    Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2): 97-114. 2005.
  •  4
    The boundary problem in democratic theory
    In Gustaf Arrhenius & Folke Tersman (eds.), Democracy Unbound: Basic Explorations, Stockholm University. Filosofiska Institutionen. pp. 14-29. 2005.