tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6172724226008713264.post6722390024054077840..comments2017-04-12T06:37:27.806-07:00Comments on P4P: An Improvement to "The Impossibility of a Satisfactory Population Ethics"Xodaraphttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00235189388350960670noreply@blogger.comBlogger2125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6172724226008713264.post-27897908385160795552014-06-01T12:58:05.362-07:002014-06-01T12:58:05.362-07:00Hey Knut,
Thank you for your comment - I agree th...Hey Knut,<br /><br />Thank you for your comment - I agree that this notation can be confusing, and I should've explained this point more clearly.<br /><br />As I mentioned, $Z=X+Y$ means $Z$ is the union of two populations $X$ and $Y$. So Mary+Mary+Mary+Mary would mean "A population with four people in it, each who have Mary's quality of life". It would _not_ mean "A population consisting of one person whose quality of life is four times Mary's".<br /><br />So I don't think this makes an assumption about being total utilitarian - plenty of groups meet the assumptions of my post, but are not (R,+).Xodaraphttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00235189388350960670noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6172724226008713264.post-71601218852517877572014-05-15T21:21:20.914-07:002014-05-15T21:21:20.914-07:00Dear XODARAP,
Unless I am missing something obviou...Dear XODARAP,<br />Unless I am missing something obvious, I believe you have completely missed the point of Arrhenius's paper. First you say you will use variables X, Y, to represent populations. But then you go on to use them to represent amounts of welfare. That would be ok if we assume that the total value of a population = the sum of the welfare of the individuals in it. In other words, it would be ok if we assumed Total Utilitarianism. But the very repugnant conclusion is entirely trivial on that assumption.<br /><br />The point is that people in population ethics are looking for theories where the value of a world is different from the sum of the value of the lives in it. Arrhenius's theorem is meant to prove that we still get the very repugnant conclusion, given the assumptions he makes. That's why he needs the assumptions you say he doesn't need.<br /><br />A different way of saying what I'm trying to say is that your "for simplicity, I will write nX for X+⋯+X (n times)" makes no sense. Mary+Mary+Mary+Mary doesn't equal anything.<br /><br />A third way of saying the same thing is to ask: what do your variables X, Y, represent?<br /><br />All the best,<br />KnutAnonymousnoreply@blogger.com