Single Idea 18625

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 2. Population / a. Human population]

Full Idea

Morally, should we double the population, even if it means reducing each person's welfare by almost half (since that will still increase overall utility)?

Gist of Idea

To maximise utility should we double the population, even if life somewhat deteriorates?


Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 2.4.b)

Book Reference

Kymlicka,Will: 'Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn)' [OUP 1992], p.32

A Reaction

[He cites Derek Parfit for this] The key word is 'almost', which ensures a small increase in overall utility. I think this is a particularly good objection to utilitarianism, which aims to maximise an abstraction called 'utility'.