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Moral Reasons to Cause People to Exist

Fri
3
Dec
Time Friday 3 December, 2021 at 13:15 - 15:00
Place NAT.D.450

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies invites you to the annual Burman lectures in philosophy. This years invited lecturer is Professor Jeff McMahan, University of Oxford. He will give three open lectures over three days on the topic "The Ethics of Creating, Saving, and Ending Lives". 

Lecture 3: Moral Reasons to Cause People to Exist

Friday December 3, 13.15-15.00, Hörsal NAT.D.450

Abstract: I will continue to explore the tensions between the idea that there is a strong moral reason to cause a well-off person to exist when the alternative is that a different, less well-off person will come into existence instead, but no moral reason to cause a well-off person to exist when the alternative is that no new person will come into existence. I will consider, for example, whether it makes sense to suppose that the reason to cause a well-off person to exist is conditional either on the inevitability of someone’s coming into existence or on one’s decision to cause a person to exist. I will argue that there is a reason to cause a person to exist both when the alternative is that a less well-off person will exist and when the alternative is that no new person will exist. If that is right, we must determine how strong this reason is in each case and how the strength of the reason compares with, for example, the strength of the reason to save a person’s life.

More Burman lectures

Lecture 1: Abortion, Prenatal Injury, and What Matters in Alternative Possible Lives
Wednesday December 1, 13.15-15.00, Hörsal NAT.D.450

Lecture 2: The Population Ethics Asymmetry and the Permissibility of Procreation
Thursday December 2, 13.15-15.00, Hörsal NAT.D.450

All interested are welcome to these lectures!

Learn more abour the Burman Lectures

Learn more about Professor Jeff McMahan

Event type: Lecture
Contact
Pär Sundström
Read about Pär Sundström