•  172
    The non-identity problem is really a collection of problems having distinct logical features. For that reason, non-identity problems can be typed. This article focuses on just one type of non-identity problem, the problem, which includes Derek Parfit's depletion example and many others. The can't-expect-better problem uses an assessment about the low probability of any particular person's coming into existence to reason that an earlier wrong act does not harm that person. This article argues tha…Read more
  •  146
    The Asymmetry: A Solution
    Theoria 77 (4): 333-367. 2011.
    The Asymmetry consists of two claims. (A) That a possible person's life would be abjectly miserable –less than worth living – counts against bringing that person into existence. But (B) that a distinct possible person's life would be worth living or even well worth living does not count in favour of bringing that person into existence. In recent years, the view that the two halves of the Asymmetry are jointly untenable has become increasingly entrenched. If we say all persons matter morally whet…Read more
  •  129
    An Asymmetry in the Ethics of Procreation
    Philosophy Compass 6 (11): 765-776. 2011.
    According to the Asymmetry, it is wrong to bring a miserable child into existence but permissible not to bring a happy child into existence. When it comes to procreation, we don’t have complete procreative liberty. But we do have some discretion. The Asymmetry seems highly intuitive. But a plausible account of the Asymmetry has been surprisingly difficult to provide, and it may well be that most moral philosophers – or at least most consequentialists – think that all reasonable efforts to provid…Read more
  •  99
    Is the Person-Affecting Intuition Paradoxical?
    Theory and Decision 55 (1): 1-44. 2003.
    This article critically examines some of the inconsistency objections that have been put forward by John Broome, Larry Temkin and others against the so-called "person-affecting," or "person-based," restriction in normative ethics, including "extra people" problems and a version of the nonidentity problem from Kavka and Parfit. Certain Pareto principles and a version of the "mere addition paradox" are discussed along the way. The inconsistencies at issue can be avoided, it is argued, by situating…Read more
  •  90
    The issue of wrongful disability arises when parents face the choice whether to produce a child whose life will be unavoidably flawed by a serious disease or disorder (Down syndrome, for example, or Huntington’s disease) yet clearly worth living. The authors of From Chance to Choice claim, with certain restrictions, that the choice to produce such a child is morally wrong. They then argue that an intuitive moral approach––a “person-affecting” approach that pins wrongdoing to the harming of some …Read more
  •  84
    The nonidentity problem
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010.
  •  53
    This collection of essays investigates the obligations we have in respect of future persons, from our own future offspring to distant future generations.
  •  48
    This paper considers two objections based in axiological considerations against the position that whether a given outcome, or possible future or world, is morally worse than a second world may depend in part on what is going on at a third world. Such a wide-angled approach to determining worseness is critical to the solution I have previously proposed in connection with the nonidentity problem. I argue that both objections fail.
  •  22
    Good intentions and a great divide: Having babies by intending them (review)
    Law and Philosophy 12 (3). 1993.
    Thus, there is a compelling policy argument as well as a suggestive constitutional argument that the practice of selling parental rights in general, and in particular the practice of commercial surrogacy, should not be permitted. These arguments favor the approach adopted in New York State as opposed to any more latitudinarian approach that would permit commercial surrogacy. Clearly, if the payment of money in exchange for parental rights should be prohibited, then we have a strong basis on whic…Read more
  •  19
    Human Cloning: A Case of no Harm Done?
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 21 (5): 537-554. 1996.
    Some have objected to the laboratory cloning of human preembryos on the grounds that the procedure would violate the dignity of and respect owed to human preembryos. Others have argued that human cloning ought be permitted if it will predictably benefit, or at least not burden, individuals who are, unlike the human preembryo, clearly entitled to our respect and concern. Taking this latter position, the legal theorist John A. Robertson has argued that, since cloning does not harm anyone who is cl…Read more
  •  15
    Supernumerary Pregnancy, Collective Harm, and Two Forms of the Nonidentity Problem
    Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 34 (4): 776-792. 2006.
    An interesting question, in both the moral and the legal context, is whether babies born of an infertility treatment-induced supernumerary pregnancy are properly considered to have been harmed. One might wonder how such a question could even arise in the face of data that clearly demonstrate that ITISP leaves an unduly large number of babies blind, deaf, and palsied, and facing lifelong disabilities. In fact, however, a number of arguments, based on the problem of collective form and two forms o…Read more
  •  13
    The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 12, Issue 8, Page 38-39, August 2012
  •  11
  •  10
    Supernumerary Pregnancies, the Harm Issue and the Limits of Constitutional Privacy
    Journal of Philosophical Research 30 (Supplement): 105-117. 2005.
  •  9
    The Problem of Harm in the Multiple Agent Context
    Ethical Perspectives 18 (3): 313. 2011.
    Lawyers and philosophers have found it challenging to construct an account of when an act causes harm that is broad enough to address multiple agent problems but not so broad that it fails to distinguish between genuinely harming a person and imposing a condition on a person that we deem undesirable. Thus, we may think an act causes harm only if it makes a difference to a person and, more specifically, makes things worse for that person. If the effect is the same whatever the one agent does in v…Read more
  •  7
    Child Versus Childmaker investigates a "person-affecting" approach to ethical choice. A form of consequentialism, this approach is intended to capture the idea that agents ought both do the most good that they can and respect each person as distinct from each other. Focusing on cases in which a conflict of interest arises between "childmakers"—parents, infertility specialists, embryologists, and others engaged in the task of bringing new people into existence—and the children they aim to create,…Read more
  •  6
    A Way of Looking at the Dalla Corte Case
    Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 22 (4): 339-342. 1994.
    When her baby was born last June, Rossana Dalla Corte, age sixty-two, was thought to be the oldest woman ever to have given birth. Her pregnancy was achieved at a private fertility clinic in Italy, the same clinic that treated “Jennifer F.,” a London woman who, on Christmas day, 1993, at the age of fifty-nine, gave birth to twins. The reproductive procedure, likely to become more common during the next few years, has received intense scrutiny from health officials in Great Britain, France, and I…Read more
  •  5
    Psychological Criteria of Personal Identity
    Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 1983.
    Two closely related issues are addressed in this thesis. The first of these issues is whether Lockean criteria can withstand criticisms based on cases such as Wiggins' brain bisection case. The problem here is that the memory relation, or in general any relation of psychological continuity, seems to be a many-one relation and hence not suitable as a criterion of identity for persons. The second issue involves the question of what we ought to say about such cases. The problem here is that, intuit…Read more