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